Non-recurrent Congestion TSMO Strategies

Nationwide, it is estimated that between 55-68% of congestion on National Highway System (NHS) roads is non-recurrent. While recurrent congestion is a difficult problem to solve without adding capacity, non-recurrent congestion can be addressed and minimized through effective Transportation System Management and Operation (TSMO) strategies. Analysis of NHS roads shows that that Maine experiences $40 M in user delay costs. In Maine, only 6% of congestion is recurrent (comparing to 32% nationwide.) The rest is non-recurrent or undefined categories. Understanding the root causes of non-recurrent congestion in Maine is critical for developing effective TSMO strategies to address them. Also, it is important to quantify and evaluate the effectiveness of TSMO strategies. With such information, MaineDOT can proactively optimize the management of transportation systems. For this purpose, this research proposes a data-driven approach to measure the operational performance of TSMO strategies to identify the most cost-effective ones to reduce the user delay costs caused by non-recurrent congestion. Given that Maine is a rural state with long winters, existing TSMO performance metrics will be carefully reviewed and only the most applicable ones will be adopted to evaluate TSMO strategies. Also, this research will investigate the spatial and temporal distributions of non-recurrent congestion using data analytics and/or visualization tools to identify causes. The results will help MaineDOT identify cost-effective TSMO strategies and high-yield project sites. They can also be used for MaineDOT and state police to develop proactive highway patrol plans.