Experience has shown that we cannot eliminate congestion on our transportation network by just adding lanes on our highways or with additional new roads. Other measures can be taken to effectively reduce congestion such as improving traffic signal timing, improving intersections (adding/lengthening turn lanes, etc.), modifying medians and investing in transit and pathways for bicyclists and pedestrians.
Federal and State regulations require that Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPO) establish “congestion management systems” (CMS) to identify and prioritize funding for these types of projects. CMS projects are those that can be implemented quickly (within one or two years) at a relatively low cost, with little or no negative community impacts. Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) projects further the hardware and software capabilities that make up transportation communication systems, traffic signal communications, video capabilities that enable traffic engineers to see what is occurring in real time on the roadways, and many other high-tech improvements.
The Collier MPO sets aside part of its federal transportation funding allocation for congestion management projects that relieve congestion in corridors that do not meet an acceptable level of service standards as determined by Collier County and the Cities of Naples, Marco Island and Everglades City, and where widening projects are not funded within the next five years. Public comment and detailed technical analysis conducted during the peak winter tourist season is used to determine the type of specific congestion management projects that should be undertaken in these corridors.
Candidate congestion management projects are prioritized by the MPO’s Congestion Management Committee which makes recommendations to the Collier MPO Board for final approval. To be eligible for part of the congestion management funding allocation, projects cannot require the acquisition of right-of-way. Transit and pathways projects must be able to demonstrate that the project will remove automobiles from congested roadway segments.
The adopted 2040 Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) also sets-aside additional funding for computerized motorist advisory system enhancements and other projects to manage existing/future traffic levels through the use of computer technology.
Congestion Management Process
The Congestion Management Process (CMP) describes the MPO’s data-driven planning process to identify congestion hotspots, analyze alternative solutions, and recommends prioritized congestion management projects for consideration of funding by the MPO Board.