ROADS/BRIDGES: ATRI releases 100 worst truck bottlenecks in the U.S.

Jan. 25, 2017

The list points primarily to urban areas in need of upgrade, reconstruction or repair

The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) has, for more than a decade, collected and processed truck GPS data in support of the Federal Highway Administration’s Freight Performance Measures (FPM) initiative, a program that maintains and monitors a series of performance measures related to the nation’s truck-based freight transportation system.

The group has now released its report on the 100 worst truck and traffic bottlenecks in the nation.

The metrics that generate from ATRI’S ongoing truck bottleneck analysis quantify the impact of traffic congestion on truck-borne freight at 250 specific locations. The information provided through this effort can empower decision-making in both the private and public sectors by allowing stakeholders to better understand the severity of congestion and mobility constraints on the U.S. highway transportation system. This is of particular importance as the nation weighs the needs and resources available for transportation funding. On a state and local level, this research can inform local investment decisions that can directly improve supply chain efficiency. This “bottleneck” analysis incorporates and synthesizes several unique components, including a massive database of truck GPS data at freight-significant locations throughout the U.S., and an algorithm that quantifies the impact of congestion on truck-based freight. Since its inception, the monitored list has grown to 250 freight-significant locations. In addition, the annual reports provide a chronological repository of mobility profiles, whereby congestion changes can be assessed over time.  This, in turn, allows transportation analysts and planners to conduct performance benchmarking and identification of influential factors contributing to congestion and the requisite consequences on truck-freight mobility.

The five steps in the analysis, according to the ATRI website, are as follows:

1. Identification of study population through extraction of relevant commercial truck data during all weekdays of the year 2015 at 250 specific locations using an extensive truck GPS database;

2. Application of data quality tools and techniques;

3. Application of a four-step analysis process that utilizes vehicle time, date and speed information;

4. Calculation of total freight congestion values and ranking (congestion index); and

5. Production of detailed congestion profiles for the 100 top ranked locations.

The full list can be found on ATRI’s website.