Transportation planners will find answers to key questions on road project prioritization in a new book co-authored by two members of the Texas A&M Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning faculty.
“Traffic Congestion: Definition, Threshold, Performance Measurement and Investment Decisions,” was written by Teresa Qu ‘10 and Timothy Lomax, who are also research engineers at the Texas Transportation Institute.
Local differences in defining traffic congestion have been an obstacle to project identification and selection, said Mark Hellenbeck, director of the Washington State Transportation Research Center, in a commentary about Qu and Lomax’s work.
Their research shows that local differences in the definition of congestion do not significantly affect the selection of projects — so long as congestion is defined equally among all potential projects, wrote Hellenbeck.
This finding, he said, removes a key objection to the project identification and selection process and allows the next leap forward in the use of performance measures.
Qu, who holds a Ph.D. in Urban and Regional Science at Texas A&M, is an associate research engineer at TTI with more than 15 years of professional experience performing research, consulting and engineering services in the U.S. and China.
She has conducted a wide variety of transportation research and projects in travel demand modeling, traffic operations management, mobile source emission modeling, ITS data analysis, bicycle and pedestrian traffic modeling, as well as congestion performance measures.
Lomax, a senior research engineer at TTI, has been extensively involved in urban mobility research for more than 30 years. He developed and applied a methodology to assess areawide traffic congestion levels and congestion costs.
He has also been involved in developing and evaluating a wide range of solutions to mobility problems, including high-occupancy vehicle facilities, improved decision-making processes and performance measurement.