Office of Operations
21st Century Operations Using 21st Century Technologies

An Agency Guide on How to Establish Localized Congestion Mitigation Programs



This document is disseminated under the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Transportation in the interest of information exchange. The U.S. Government assumes no liability for the use of the information contained in this document. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation.

The U.S. Government does not endorse products or manufacturers. Trademarks or manufacturers’ names may appear in this report only because they are considered essential to the objective of the document.

Quality Assurance Statement

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) provides high-quality information to serve Government, industry, and the public in a manner that promotes public understanding. Standards and policies are used to ensure and maximize the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of its information. FHWA periodically reviews quality issues and adjusts its programs and processes to ensure continuous quality improvement.

Technical Report Documentation Page

1. Report No.


2. Government Accession No.

3. Recipient’s Catalog No.

4. Title and Subtitle

An Agency Guide on How to Establish Localized Congestion Mitigation Programs

5. Report Date

March 2011

6. Performing Organization Code

7. Author(s)

Richard Margiotta
Dena Snyder

8. Performing Organization Report No.

9. Performing Organization Name and Address

Cambridge Systematics, Inc.
4800 Hamden Lane
Bethesda, MD 20814

10. Work Unit No.

11. Contract or Grant No.


12. Sponsoring Agency Name and Address

Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590

13. Type of Report and Period Covered

June 2009-December 2010

14. Sponsoring Agency Code


15. Supplementary Notes

Neil Spiller (COTM), FHWA Office of Operations

16. Abstract

This document provides guidance to state and local transportation personnel who wish to develop a formal program for mitigating congestion using localized and low-cost bottleneck treatments. It presents several templates for developing a localized congestion mitigation program, including documenting alternative templates in use by state Departments of Transportation and Metropolitan Planning Organizations.

FHWA’s Localized Bottleneck Reduction Initiative (LBR) program has researched over the last five years the causes, impacts, and mitigations available to combat localized recurring congestion; that is, congestion that is primarily “point specific” as to cause, location, duration, and repetitiveness. This guidance document is intended to aid agencies in establishing either ad-hoc or annualized programs that address localized congestion, much in the same way that an annualized safety-spot program would address localized safety issues.

The main questions that this guidance helps an agency frame are:

  1. Do we have a satisfactory agency methodology to specifically address localized congestion problems?
  2. Within that program, do we have satisfactory justifications for project candidacy, selection, and solutions for said problems?
  3. Are we executing these projects in a timely fashion and within budgets that are representative of the context of a “Localized Bottleneck Reduction” program?

17. Key Words

Bottleneck, chokepoint, recurring congestion, operations

18. Distribution Statement

No restrictions.

19. Security Classif. (of this report)


20. Security Classif.
(of this page)


21. No of Pages


22. Price


Form DOT F 1700.7 (8-72)                                                                       Reproduction of completed pages authorized