Measuring Non-Recurrent Congestion in Small to Medium Sized Urban Areas

Understanding the relative magnitudes of recurrent vs. non-recurrent congestion in an urban area is critical to the selection of proper countermeasures and the appropriate allocation of resources to address congestion problems. Small to medium sized cities such as Birmingham, Alabama typically lack the extensive traffic sensor networks necessary to monitor and record traffic performance on a continuous basis. Alternative methods are needed to gain an understanding of the magnitudes of recurrent and non-recurrent congestion and implement proper countermeasures to reduce them. The objective of this study was to test methodologies for quantifying non-recurrent congestion in a small to medium sized urban area such as Birmingham which has limited traffic monitoring infrastructure. More specifically, the study investigated the potential use of commercially available vehicle probe data to quantify incident-related non-recurrent congestion on key interstate facilities in the Birmingham region. Archived Global Positioning System (GPS) probe data collected in the Birmingham Region were analyzed and combined with accident reports from the State’s ASAP (Alabama Service and Assistance Patrol) incident response system to test the effectiveness of measuring non-recurrent congestion in this manner.

  • Record URL:
  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This research was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation, University Transportation Centers Program.
  • Corporate Authors:

    University of Alabama, Birmingham

    Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering
    1075 13th Street South
    Birmingham, AL  United States  35294

    University Transportation Center for Alabama

    University of Alabama
    Tuscaloosa, AL  United States  35487

    Research and Innovative Technology Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Authors:
    • Sullivan, Andrew J
    • Sisiopiku, Virginia P
    • Kallem, Bharat R
  • Publication Date: 2013-5


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Edition: Final Report
  • Features: Figures; Maps; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 66p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01488496
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: UTCA Final Report Number 09201
  • Created Date: Jul 29 2013 2:56PM