Annual study shows cities losing the race against traffic gridloc k growth
Annual study shows cities losing the race against traffic gridlock growth
You can find the full report online at <http://mobility.tamu.edu/>.
September 7, 2004
For more information:
Tim Lomax, 979-845-9960 or
David Schrank, 979-845-7323
In the effort to catch up with the effects of traffic congestion, American
cities are falling farther behind with each passing year, according to
20-year trends announced on Tuesday.
The 2004 Urban Mobility Report, published by the Texas Transportation
Institute, shows traffic congestion growing across the nation in cities of
all sizes, consuming more hours of the day, and affecting more travelers and
shipments of goods than ever before. We can only expect more of the same,
say the study's authors.
"We can see pretty clearly what 20 years of almost continuous economic
growth can do to us," says Tim Lomax, one of the study's authors. "If we're
lucky enough to sustain this growth and the funding levels and options do
not increase from current trends, we shouldn't be surprised if we see even
The TTI study ranks areas according to several measurements, including:
* Annual delay per peak period (rush hour) traveler, which has grown
from 16 hours to 46 hours since 1982,
* Annual financial cost of traffic congestion, which has ballooned
from $14 billion to more than $63 billion since 1982 (as expressed in 2002
* Wasted fuel, totaling 5.6 billion gallons lost to engines idling in
This year's installment increases the number of urban areas studied from 75
to 85, and includes all urban areas exceeding a population of 500,000.
The report also measures the mobility improving contributions of public
transportation service and techniques to improve roadway operating
efficiency. These and other techniques can be used - nationally and locally
- to more successfully reverse a national trend of ever-worsening traffic
problems. Researchers say that the problem has grown too rapidly and is too
complex to be addressed by a single solution. In addition to new road and
public transportation projects, they say we need more efficient use of
current roadways, better demand management, and a diverse set of land use
"We're facing an increasingly urgent situation," Lomax says. "To make real
progress, it's critical that we pursue all transportation solutions - short
range, small scale projects and policies, mid range efficiency programs, and
longer term, more significant projects and programs that require more
planning and design time."