Reconciling the Conflict Between Air Quality and Congestion-Relief Objectives of the Transportation Equity Act (TEA- LU)

Two important mandates of the US Department of Transportation are to improve air quality and to relieve congestion. Therefore the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ)program was incorporated in the Safe Accountable Flexible efficient Transportation Equity Act-Legacy for Users(SAFETEA-LU) Legislation of 2005. There are various measures available to relieve congestion, e.g. traffic control measures, travel demand management measures, Public transportation investment etc. If done carefully, they may reduce pollution because there will be less stop and go traffic. If they are overdone, they may produce additional vehicle miles traveled(induced traffic)resulting in more air pollution. The objective of this proposed research is to investigate various possible ways of congestion mitigation including public transportation that would provide higher pay off in terms of air quality conformity.