Office of Operations
photos of traffic merging onto congested highway, congestion in snowstorm, variable message sign, cargo, variable speed limit sign in a work zone, and a freeway at night
21st century operations using 21st century technologies

Reducing Recurring Congestion

 Vehicle Passing another Vehicle on Road

Recurring congestion includes the development and deployment of traffic control and travel demand management strategies designed to mitigate congestion on highway facilities during peak travel periods. Roughly half of the congestion experienced by Americans happens virtually every day – it is "recurring". This is the type of congestion where there are simply more vehicles than roadway. Recurring congestion occurs during peak travel periods for a simple reason – the number of vehicles trying to use the highway system exceeds the available capacity. Effectively managing demand during peak periods involves convincing travelers to make their trip at a less congested time, on a different mode, on a less congested route, or through a means other than travel on the highway system (e.g. telecommuting).

Reducing recurring congestion requires the development and implementation of new technologies and new approaches for arterial management, corridor traffic management, travel demand management and freeway management.