Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) requires that metropolitan planning organizations implement a Congestion Management Process (CMP) that focuses on the planning process and environmental review process while maintaining and developing effective management and operation strategies. Analysis criteria emphasize a performance-based approach applied to all required long range transportation plan components including the Transportation System Management and Operations component.
Integral to developing a sound planning process for creating and evaluating transportation strategies is the need for relative and accurate data. Robust data was needed on the congestion levels in the Colorado Springs Metropolitan Planning Area in order to conduct the required monitoring and forecasting of system performance. The Region required the most accurate and realistic data available and coverage for a large, NHS inclusive network.
The Colorado Springs Metropolitan Region decided on vehicle probe “Big Data” to meet those needs. The data provide travel times and average speeds for the Region’s CMP Corridors, with both 1-minute and 5-minute archives of real-time travel speeds. Additionally, 15-minute historical speed data, delays, and queue length are available for an entire year. “Floating Car” methodology was also utilized to collect travel time and speed metrics for selected CMP segments.
The utilization of vehicle probe “Big Data” allowed staff to meet the criteria of MAP-21 through the development of performance-based criteria. The data also allows staff provide up to the minute responses to common Congestion Problems and Needs including:
• "What congestion problems are present in the region or are anticipated?"
• "What are the sources and locations of unacceptable recurring and non-recurring congestion in the Region?"
• “What are the hot spots in the Region?”
• "What toolbox of investments is appropriate to mitigate congestion on each corridor?"
• “During incidents, what detour routes are available to the public using the affected corridor?”
The vehicle probe “Big Data” provided real-time information on the travel patterns and delays associated with congestion in the Colorado Springs Metropolitan Planning Area. This paper will present the “Big Data” purpose and needs as well as the associated transportation planning recommendations.