Traffic congestion impacts the mobility of people and goods in the tri-county region, which affects quality of life and economic growth throughout Greater Lansing. Congestion is the level at which transportation performance is no longer acceptable due to traffic interference resulting in decreased speeds and increased travel times. As the region experiences population and job growth, congestion is addressed by a systematic process, called the Congestion Management Process (CMP), that provides for safe and effective integrated management and operation of the multimodal transportation system. Tri-County maintains a federally required CMP to improve transportation system reliability, safety, and performance.
Tri-County's Congestion Management Process is a systematic and regionally accepted approach for measuring and diagnosing the causes of current and future congestion. It provides accurate, up-to-date information on transportation system performance and assesses alternative strategies for congestion management that meets the identified regional need. A CMP is required in metropolitan areas with population exceeding 200,000, known as Transportation Management Areas (TMAs).
Federal requirements state that in all TMAs, the CMP shall be developed and implemented as an integrated part of the metropolitan transportation planning process. This CMP is an on-going process, fully integrated into Tri-County's transportation planning process. It is a "living" document, continually evolving to address the results of performance measures, concerns of the region, new objectives and goals, and up-to-date information on congestion issues.
The CMP uses an objectives-driven, performance-based approach to planning for congestion management. Through the use of congestion management objectives and performance measures, the CMP provides a mechanism for ensuring that investment decisions are made with a clear focus on desired outcomes. This approach involves screening strategies using objective criteria and relying on system performance data, analysis, and evaluation.
In Transportation Management Areas that are in non-attainment of ozone or carbon monoxide (CO) standards, federal funds may not be expended for any new project that will significantly increase the carrying capacity for single-occupant vehicles (SOVs) unless the project results from a CMP. For the tri-county region, a significant increase in carrying capacity for SOVs is defined as a project that adds one or more through-travel lanes for a distance in excess of one mile or more on a roadway classified as a Collector or higher on the Federal functional class map for the area.