No matter your politics, this is not good:
COLLEGE STATION, TX — Traffic congestion continues to worsen in American cities of all sizes, creating a $78 billion annual drain on the U.S. economy in the form of 4.2 billion lost hours and 2.9 billion gallons of wasted fuel—that’s 105 million weeks of vacation and 58 fully-loaded supertankers.
Worsening congestion, the study notes, is reflected in several ways:
* Trips take longer
* Congestion affects more of the day
* Congestion affects weekend travel and rural areas
* Congestion affects more personal trips and freight shipments
* Trip travel times increasingly are unreliable
Researchers spent two years revising the methodology using additional sources of traffic information, providing more—and higher quality—data on which to base the current study.
The report identifies multiple solutions to the congestion problem that, researchers say, must be used together to be effective. These include:
* Get as much service as possible from existing infrastructure
* Add road and transit system capacity in critical corridors
* Relieve chokepoints
* Change usage patterns
* Provide choices
* Diversify the development patterns
* Keep expectations realistic
“Congestion is a far more complex problem than is apparent at first glance,” Lomax said. “The better the data we use to define the problem, the more successful we will be in addressing its root causes.”
Roads and Transit, baby.