Date of Award

Fall 1995

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Transportation - (M.S.)

Department

Executive Committee for the Interdisciplinary Program in Transportation

First Advisor

Athanassios K. Bladikas

Second Advisor

Monica Francois

Third Advisor

W. Patrick Beaton

Fourth Advisor

Naomi G. Rotter

Abstract

To address concerns of poor air quality, congested highways and the need to manage and plan for transportation within budgetary constraints, the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA) mandated the development and implementation of a Congestion Management System (CMS). Primarily, a CMS will fuel transportation decision making with information on system performance and alternate strategies to alleviate congestion and enhance mobility. Efforts through ISTEA are expected to produce a more efficient American transportation system -- this thesis takes a look at the preparatory activities.

It is based on a federally funded project with metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) in Albany, New York; Dallas, Texas; Seattle, Washington and the Washington D.C. metropolitan area. The thesis examines the approach to specific elements of CMS implementation and identifies factors contributing to their effectiveness.

As expected, coordination and cooperation among participants has presented the greatest challenge. With regards to data collection, performance measures and the application of new technology, MPOs report that building on existing analytical efforts and strengthening inter- agency relationships has been the best strategy.

Stepping back from the findings of the case studies, the author concludes that this information may arrive to states and localities with very little lead time to be effective technical assistance. Arguably, the case studies may provide insight into CMS as a whole and possibly predict the effectiveness of ISTEA. In that regard, this thesis is expected to aid future transportation policy making efforts.

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