Identification and Characterization of Traffic Bottlenecks

A number of tools are currently available to Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) for bottleneck identification, namely, the Regional Integrated Transportation Information System (RITIS) Probe Data Analytics Suite (PDAS), the iPeMS, and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Congestion and Bottleneck Identification (CBI) tool. However all these tools have inherent limitations. VDOT is interested in using both the probe speed data and detector-based traffic volume data to calculate delays in identifying the bottlenecks. Second, there is an interest to improve characterization of the bottlenecks, such as time of day, day of week etc. This study will compare and contrast the bottlenecks identified by the three tools; document use cases that need further characterization of bottlenecks; calculate delays to identify and characterize both freeway and arterial bottlenecks, and validate all the results through expert panel reviews. Results of this study will be useful for VDOT and locatlities to better identify congestion bottleneck sites and solutions, and better prepare for funding opportunities.