No one likes to be stuck in traffic. Roadway congestion is frustrating because its causes are usually out of the driver’s control. Further, what seems like a “major traffic jam” to one person might be “just a little delay” to another. In either case, the consequences of excessive traffic congestion are real: aggressive driving, decreased personal safety, and, eventually, stifled community development. The environment also suffers. Stop-and-go traffic needlessly increases greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles and wastes fuel. Congestion also wastes people’s personal and professional time.
Understanding where and why traffic congestion is happening is an important step toward reducing it. The Pioneer Valley Congestion Management Process (CMP) identifies the major traffic congestion spots in the 43 cities and towns of our region. This information is essential in advancing future transportation improvements that will reduce traffic congestion and improve the overall safety and efficiency of our transportation network.
The CMP is an integrated planning activity. It supports the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) planning process for regional transportation infrastructure, maintenance and operating investments. In addition, CMP activities and information are valuable to planning at the municipal level for non-federal transportation investments, as well as for decision-making about land use, environmental protection, housing and community development.
CMP activities are iterative. They are intended to identify existing deficiencies in the regional transportation system through ongoing monitoring and analysis of key performance measures. These performance measures themselves may evolve as a region’s transportation capacities, needs and shortcomings change.
CMP activities are comprehensive. They involve multiple agencies at all levels of government and stakeholders in communities large and small.
The Pioneer Valley Planning Commission (PVPC) has produced this CMP report as part of the ongoing regional planning activities of the Pioneer Valley MPO. Because of the constantly changing nature of transportation and land use in the Pioneer Valley, this report represents a snapshot of transportation congestion in the region based on the performances measures developed during this process and the availability of resources to collect and analyze the data that support them.
PVPC developed a vision to provide a framework for the development of the CMP.
The Pioneer Valley Congestion Management Process identifies, evaluates, and implements transportation performance measures that enhance the safety and efficiency of the movement of people, goods, and information.