Traffic Congestion

Westbound Arterial, Poughkeepsie, New York

Managing congestion is important to our economy, our environment, and our overall quality of life. In our region, congestion is often a land use problem, caused by sprawling development patterns, poor access management, and a lack of interconnected street networks, as well as limited transportation options. With that said, many bottlenecks can be at least partially alleviated with engineering and technological solutions.

What are the most congested locations in Dutchess County?

In 2019, along with our partners in Ulster and Orange counties, we adopted an updated Congestion Management Process (CMP). The update used a data analysis platform developed by the University of Albany’s AVAIL Labs that uses anonymous cell phone data to map travel speeds, helping us find congested areas. We chose four congestion measures, each of which depicts congestion in a different way, to screen our three-county area. In 2020, we then examined the most congested locations to understand the causes of congestion and made preliminary recommendations for improvements or future study. In Dutchess County, the most congested locations according to this methodology are:

  • I-84 and Route 9D in Fishkill
  • I-84, Route 9, and Route 52 in Fishkill
  • Route 55 just west of the Taconic State Parkway in LaGrange
  • Route 44/55 near Route 9 in the City of Poughkeepsie

Our Barriers to Reliable Access Map shows these priority locations, along with all other road segments that failed one or more of the congestion measures. For this analysis, we only evaluated roads on the National Highway System (major State roads), because that is where data is currently available. In the future we hope to expand our analysis to incorporate the entire road network.

For more on our Congestion Management Process, see the Regional Transportation Planning page on our website, which has links to the CMP documents.

Our Role

  • Work with municipalities and road owners, as appropriate, on proposed improvements at high-congestion locations. If an improvement to a congested area proceeds past the planning stage, continue to advise on the project to ensure that the plan’s goals are reflected in the final design.
  • Collect and maintain data on high-congestion areas. Continue to use the AVAIL Labs platform, along with traffic volume, vehicle class, and other locally collected traffic data.
  • Update the Congestion Management Process regularly. The next iteration of the CMP should be timed to take advantage of any expansion of the number and type of roads covered by the AVAIL Labs dataset.
  • Pursue planning studies of high-congestion locations as funding allows. Route 44/55 in Poughkeepsie was analyzed in the Poughkeepsie 9.44.55 study. Future studies of congested areas should be completed in coordination with road owners, municipalities, and other stakeholders.
  • Consider impacts on congested locations when reviewing new land use projects. Work with developers and municipalities during comprehensive planning, zoning, and site plan review processes to mitigate impacts from new development on congested locations.