Top 10 Bottlenecks Report

Use this template package to create a report that summarizes the top 10 bottlenecks in a selected area. There are two parts to this template package – the first is a “Top 10 Bottlenecks in the Region” summary report page, that pesents a table of various attributes for all the top 10 bottlenecks for a specific time period, along with a location map. The second is a template for each individual bottleneck, that includes various performance attributes, presented in an infographic style format.

Overview

  1. Click to download the PowerPoint template to create a monthly report that describes the performance of a roadway over the previous 12 months.
  2. Download Agency Use Case examples below to see how other agencies have used these templates or have created similar reports using content from RITIS.
  3. Scroll down to learn how to create this report or click on the 'How To Create Report' in the navigational menu.

Tools Used In This Report (click on the links for a brief video tutorial on using a tool)

Design Recommendations To Keep In Mind

We've strived to make the Guides simple and easy to understand, but if you have any questions or need help, please contact us at support@ritis.org. To start off, we think these abbreviated Lessons Learned from FHWA's Performance Reporting Prototype Technical Report are very instructive and important to keep in mind:

  • Tailor report content and format to engage and inform your audience

    • Keep reports for the general public engaging and simple
    • Reserve greater complexity for professional transportation audience
    • Consider how the audience experiences transportation - the general public typically doesn't care about agency business process silos
  • Relevant, easy-to-understand graphics are likely to be shared

    • ‟Single issue, single page” graphics-heavy infographics are a valuable tool to draw in a larger audience
  • Snapshots are not enough

    • Make sure to include trends and contextual information
    • Link to actions being taken by the organization
  • Don't empasize appearance over effectiveness

    • Information should be conveyed clearly and concisely
    • Simplicity over embellishment is usually best
  • Tell a story so the data comes alive

    The story must be delivered at the right technical level for the audience and targeted on an area of interest

How to Create the Report

Click on each numbered box below to learn how to create the content in each section and how we used RITIS to generate charts and produce performance data.

1

How to make the cover pages

  1. Select cover page

    cover page
    1. On the RITIS Templates Top 10 Bottleneck page, download the template. This will include templates for the front and back covers, summary table and individual bottleneck evaluation reports.
    2. In Microsoft PowerPoint open the template – you’ll see the front cover.
    3. Gather your agency’s logo and some applicable background images to choose from.
      Lightbulb icon indicating that you can click to learn a little more

      Tip

      Using high-resolution images will give your report a more professional look. If your image is too bright, and you want it darker either use the Corrections function under Picture Format or overlay a dark-colored box and make it semi-transparent.
      We also recommend using a transparent version (.png) of your agency’s logo, if available.

  2. Insert the logo and image

    cover page with logo and image
    1. Copy and paste your image and agency logo into the cover page template.
    2. Right-click on the image and select “Send to Back” from the drop-down menu so the image lays behind the cover graphics and text.
    3. If there’s not enough contrast with the background image, double-click your agency’s logo and select Color from the Adjust ribbon to select a more suitable color.
      Lightbulb icon indicating that you can click to learn a little more

      Tip

      Use Picture Format on the menu to lighten or darken a photo to give better contrast to logos and text. Click on the background image, then click Picture Format on the menu, and then click on the Corrections drop-down to see pre-set selections or use your own.

  3. Apply the finishng touches

    final cover page Magnifying glass indicating that you can click to zoom the previous image
    1. Edit the Project Name / Description, date and report type placeholders.
    2. You can change the colors of the bottom graphic by double-clicking it and selecting “Color” from the “Picture Format” ribbon. For the orange triangle shape in the corner, first double-click on the blue area, then click on the Send Backward icon on the ribbon – this will expose the orange shape. Change the color to your liking, then click on the blue area, and then on the Bring Forward icon.
  4. Create a back cover

    back cover page Magnifying glass indicating that you can click to zoom the previous image
    color circle
    1. For the back cover, use the back cover template to add your agency’s logo, a pertinent photo and contact info.
    2. Your report covers are now complete!
      • For the cover pages, and all other report pages, consider using your agency’s color palette, or use this simple color wheel to help decide on complementary color combinations.
2

How to make the Top 10 Botteneck summary page

  1. Open the Top 10 Bottlenecks in the Region template

    template Magnifying glass indicating that you can click to zoom the previous image
    1. From the downloaded template, choose the Top 10 Bottlenecks in the Region page.
    2. You will use the Bottleneck Ranking tool to develop both a map and tabular results for the summary table.
  2. Run the Bottleneck Ranking tool

    bottleneck ranking tool Magnifying glass indicating that you can click to zoom the previous image
    1. Open the Bottleneck Ranking tool and use the query screen to define the parameters of your search:
    2. Select roads – choose your state, then in the search bar type the name of your road. In this example, we chose a 7-county area representative of the Baltimore Metropolitan Region by using the Region tab to define the counties. Use this tab for also choosing directions of travel, defining regions by zip codes, or road classes.
      Lightbulb icon indicating that you can click to learn a little more

      Tip

      Use the Save as segment set button to save large or complex TMC sets, so you can access those later, share them or run other tools. Be sure to use a naming convention so that your sets are easy to identify.

      • Important! If you create a TMC set larger than 7,000 segments, you will NOT see them displayed on the map. Hovering over the circled shape will show the message, “Only selections of 7,000 or fewer segments can be mapped”.
    3. Select time periods – choose the day(s), month(s) or year you wish to analyze, then choose time periods for the range as well as days of the week. We chose the first quarter of 2022 - Jan 1st through March 31st.
    4. Select data sources – choose your agency’s data source.
    5. Select time zone – chose a time zone for your area.
    6. Select inclusion criteria – check the box if you want to include congestion that originates outside of your defined area.
    7. Submit – once you’re satisfied with your query inputs, click the SUBMIT button.
  3. Your results will look something like this

    summary results 1 Magnifying glass indicating that you can click to zoom the previous image
    summary results 2 Magnifying glass indicating that you can click to zoom the previous image
    1. For the Summary Table, you will use the top 10 locations shown in the table at the top of this results page. Click the checkboxes next to the top 10 to display them on the map
      Lightbulb icon indicating that you can click to learn a little more

      Tip

      Use the + and – buttons on the map to zoom in and out for best fit. You can also use the frame handles around the map to adjust the map size or your browser page sizing controls.

      If desired, you can include Events icons on the map or remove them by clicking on the Display Options button and unchecking the events checkboxes.

    2. You can save the table as a csv, or simply screenshot the page – you can also use the map in the screenshot for the Summary Table Location Map.
    3. Add your desired data from the table and if you choose, include the top 10 bottleneck location map in your summary page.
  4. Apply the finishing touches

    finished results Magnifying glass indicating that you can click to zoom the previous image
    1. Add your analysis time period, agency logo and highlight the highest value metrics for each category. Add information from the RITIS help page or use your own information. For our example, we included a brief explanation of how bottlenecks are ranked by Base Impact.
    2. Your Top 10 Bottleneck Summary page is now complete!
3

How to make the Individual Bottleneck Evaluation pages

  1. Download and open the Individual Bottleneck Evaluation Report template

    evaluation report template Magnifying glass indicating that you can click to zoom the previous image
    1. In your downloaded template packet, open the Quarterly Bottleneck Evaluation Report template.
  2. Open the Design Resources packet

    design recources
    1. Also open the Design Resources packet.
    2. This packet includes a “Top 10” graphics and icon set, processes for hyperlinking report objects or text, and using (modified) embed code.
  3. Add a Bottleneck Location Map

    bottleneck summary results Magnifying glass indicating that you can click to zoom the previous image
    bottlenck location map
    1. You will be creating an individual summary page for each ranked bottleneck you wish to report on.
    2. Start by clicking on the #1 ranked Bottleneck location on the results table – this will update the map to show only that location. Then screenshot the map (or use the “Save as image” feature).
      Lightbulb icon indicating that you can click to learn a little more

      Tip

      Use the + and – buttons on the map to zoom in and out for best fit. You can also use the frame handles around the map to adjust the map size or use your browser page sizing controls.

      If desired, you can include Events/Incidents icons on the map or remove them by clicking on the Display Options button and unchecking the Events/Incidents checkbox.

    3. Update the blue bottleneck ranking identifier graphic with your bottleneck information (route/direction/location).
    4. Crop your map to fit the space in the template, then add any annotations to make the map more meaningful, such as route shields, congested location demarcations (related to Congestion Scan results, see step L) and a legend.
    5. Include some summary text about the bottleneck – geographic location, temporal and spatial extent of congested conditions, possible contributing factors, etc.
    6. Your Location Map is now complete!
  4. Run Other RITIS Tools

    probe data analytics suite
    1. For this report, you will be using five RITIS tools:
      • Bottleneck Ranking (already run)
      • Performance Charts
      • User Delay Cost
      • Congestion Scan
      • Trend Map
      • You will be running the remaining four tools using either “Open in” icons in the Bottleneck Ranking results page or Open with links in your My History page, so you don’t have to build new queries each time.
    2. Start by opening the Bottleneck Ranking results page in RITIS. Then for the #1 ranked bottleneck, click on the Performance Charts icon at the end of the row. This will open the Performance Charts results for that bottleneck automatically.
  5. Your results will look something like this

    performance chart result 1 Magnifying glass indicating that you can click to zoom the previous image
    performance chart result 2 Magnifying glass indicating that you can click to zoom the previous image
    1. To make it easier to see the results, we suggest the following adjustments to the chart:
      • Change the background from dark to light
      • Uncheck the 5th/95th and 25th/75th percentile speed reading check boxes
      • Click the Line width plus sign to increase the line width for better viewing.
    2. The default metric for the chart will be Speed (mph). We’ll use this as one of our reporting metrics.
      Lightbulb icon indicating that you can click to learn a little more

      Tip

      You can also save an image of the chart and add it to your report or save the data in an XML file for post-processing in MS Excel, for example to report AM/Midday/PM Peak Hour speeds.

      In the Design Resources packet, we’ll show you how to hyperlink your report results so you can open Performance Charts within your presentation, with full control over the results – chart type, metrics, data, etc.

    3. Hover over the line to see speed changes over time. Select times/speeds you wish to report by clicking on the line to lock in a tooltip. In our example, we chose the lowest speeds in the AM and PM periods to report. Screenshot or note these data.
  6. Adding Peak Travel Times

    peak travel times chart Magnifying glass indicating that you can click to zoom the previous image
    1. On the Performance Charts results page above, click on the Metric dropdown bar, and select Travel Time (minutes). Your speed graph will automatically update to travel time, and will also retain the tooltips you selected previously, now with travel time data. Again, screenshot or note these data.
  7. Enter your speed & travel time data

    peak speed and travel time data
    1. In the template, color the header boxes, add some descriptive text and if desired an accompanying icon (see Design Resources).
    2. Add the AM and PM times/speeds under the PK. AVG. SPEED header in the template. If desired, add a % change from free-flow speed or speed limit for greater context.
    3. Next, add the travel time data in the next summary area, along with time period and time.
    4. Your PK. AVG. SPEED and TRAVEL TIME summary section will look something like this.
  8. Adding User Delay Costs

    report request
    My History page Magnifying glass indicating that you can click to zoom the previous image
    UDC results Magnifying glass indicating that you can click to zoom the previous image
    delay cost
    1. On the Bottleneck Ranking results page, click on the User Delay Cost icon at the end of the row. This will submit a request to generate UDC results without having to run a separate query.
    2. You will get a Report request submitted message telling you about getting the report.
    3. Check the status of the report in your My History page – you’ll see the UDC report status (pending). Depending on the size of your request, it should take a few to several minutes for the results to become available.
    4. Once the report is available, click on the Open report link to view the UDC results.
    5. In this example, we chose Total Delay Cost and Vehicle-hrs. of Delay metrics to add to the report. Scroll down to the bottom of the report and hover over the Grand Total cell of the table – all the available metric totals will display.
    6. Simply select the metrics you wish to include in your report and add them into the User Delay Cost area of the template.
    7. Color the header box, add some descriptive text and if desired an accompanying icon (see Design Resources).
    8. Your finished summary will look something like this.
  9. Adding a bottleneck Time Spiral

    bottleneck occurences time spiral Magnifying glass indicating that you can click to zoom the previous image
    other graphics for bottleneck occurences Magnifying glass indicating that you can click to zoom the previous image
    1. On the Bottleneck Ranking results page, either screenshot the Time Spiral, or click on the Save as Image icon in the upper right corner.
      Lightbulb icon indicating that you can click to learn a little more

      Tip

      Use the + and – buttons on the map to zoom in and out for best fit. You can also use the frame handles around the Time Spiral to adjust the graphic size or use your browser page sizing controls.

    2. Add the image to the template under Bottleneck Occurrences, some text describing the temporal layout (e.g.; the center represents the beginning of 01.01.22 and the outer edge the end of 03.31.22), the “highlight wedge” and caption (see Design Resources) and a legend.
    3. Your finished Time Spiral graphic will look something like this.
      • There are other graphics choices in Bottleneck Ranking results, such as the Timeline and Elements graphs that you can substitute for the Time Spiral. Simply click on the dropdown button at the top left of the graph area and choose another graphic.
  10. Adding a Trend Map

    trend map
    static map Magnifying glass indicating that you can click to zoom the previous image
    static map 2 Magnifying glass indicating that you can click to zoom the previous image
    static map 3 Magnifying glass indicating that you can click to zoom the previous image
    animated gif option
    movie option
    1. On your My History page, find the Performance Charts result for your bottleneck and click Open With… then click Trend Map. It may take a few minutes to load and open.
    2. Your results will look something like this.
    3. At this point you have three options to add content to your report:
      • Add a static map (showing some interesting results, say during the most congested time)
      • Add an animation that shows changes over time (MP4 or GIF)
      • Hyperlink a static map that will take you to the Trend Map results page, so you have Trend Map capabilities.
    4. Pictured at left is an example of a static map, that shows the congestion on the roadway at 5:35 PM. Note the speed drops at MD-295 SB at MD-32, which has reported to be due to, in part, traffic from Fort Meade.
    5. Below is another option, showing a closer view of Fort Meade with some basic facts (land area, population) that may offer some supporting intel for the congestion at the interchange
    6. A second option is to add an animation to your report by clicking on the Save as icon at the top right in the Trend Map results page, then selecting Movie (.MP4), then click Save. Use the same steps for saving a GIF.
    7. Once the movie has finished exporting, click the button to download it.
    8. Then on the PowerPoint menu bar, click Insert, then Video, then This Device… and double click the movie you want to add.
    9. Once inserted into the template, you can crop the movie to fit the space, just as you would with an image.
    10. The third option is hyperlinking the static image, so clicking on it will open Trend Map for the bottleneck for animated playback and feature control. There are two hyperlink options:
      • Using (modified) embed code generated by the Trend Map tool. This is for folks to be able to view a Trend Map (with limited controls) that do not have RITIS credentials.
      • Hyperlink an object or text by copying and pasting the Trend Map URL into the address bar of PowerPoint’s Insert Hyperlink dialog box. This will greatly enhance presentations, or shared documents within your organization with folks that have RITIS credentials, giving them full use of Trend Map controls and features.
    11. Both options are simple to do and are fully explained in the Design Resource packet that you can download from the templates page.
      Lightbulb icon indicating that you can click to learn a little more

      Tip

      Hyperlinking text, images or icons is a great way to drill down into ANY tool results, should questions arise or if more information is needed during a meeting, or sharing a document.

      Follow the directions for Hyperlinking in the Design Resources document.

  11. Insert and add some finishing touches

    corridor speeds over time Magnifying glass indicating that you can click to zoom the previous image
    1. Choose the best alternative for your particular situation. For this example, we chose to hyperlink a static map (with modified embed code) so that anyone can view an animated Trend Map. Again, simple step-by-step processes are provided in the Design Resources document.
    2. We then added a heading, speed legend and some instructional text for using the hyperlink.
  12. Adding a Congestion Scan

    conjestion scan option Magnifying glass indicating that you can click to zoom the previous image
    conjestion scan result 1 Magnifying glass indicating that you can click to zoom the previous image
    conjestion scan result 2 Magnifying glass indicating that you can click to zoom the previous image
    1. On the Trend Map results page, click Open With… then click Congestion Scan.
    2. Your results will look something like this.
    3. Since this bottleneck is in the SB direction, you want to display only that direction. To do that, click on the Display Options button in the upper right corner, then uncheck the Right graph checkbox.
    4. Hover over the heat map to see a tooltip showing speeds at selected times (as you hover, the roadway graphic will display speed color coding associated with the selected time. This helps to better visualize where speed changes are occurring on the road). Click on the map to lock the tooltip in place.
    5. If desired, adjust the Congestion Scan heat map by using the controls at the top for Time range, Data type and Color thresholds, then take a screenshot or click the Save as icon and choose image.
      Lightbulb icon indicating that you can click to learn a little more

      Tip

      To get a better fit of your images into the report template, resize the results before taking a screenshot by clicking in the Restore Down icon in the upper right corner of your browser, then click and hold the edges of the page and resize to your liking.

  13. Add some finishing touches

    conjested locations
    bottleneck evaluation summary final Magnifying glass indicating that you can click to zoom the previous image
    1. Copy and paste your Congestion Scan results into the report placeholder.
      Lightbulb icon indicating that you can click to learn a little more

      Tip

      Congestion Scan includes eight different Data Types (metrics) that you can use. Simply click on the Data type dropdown on the results page and select your data to display. Note that the color thresholds will change with each data type, requiring a new legend.

    2. Add delineation boxes (A/B) to the heat map highlighting AM/PM Congested Locations that also matches delineations on the Bottleneck Location Map for greater context.
    3. Include some summary info up top to highlight when and where the Congested Locations are most prevalent.
    4. Finally, place a legend at the bottom showing speed ranges.
    5. Your first Individual Bottleneck Evaluation Summary is now complete!
    6. Repeat this process For the rest of the Top 10 locations.

Your report is now complete!

Cover page with logos and images Magnifying glass indicating that you can click to zoom the previous image
Overview page with data and map location Magnifying glass indicating that you can click to zoom the previous image
Evaluation pages with data Magnifying glass indicating that you can click to zoom the previous image
Back cover page with a photo of cars at sunset Magnifying glass indicating that you can click to zoom the previous image
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