Study finds growing delays in U.S. traffic infrastructure

| 5/10/2005

The average driver spends about 30 more hours a year in rush hour traffic than they did a little over a decade ago, according to an annual study by the Texas Transportation Institute.

According to the report, annual delay per peak period travelers – rush hour commuters –sat in traffic 47 hours a year in 2003, up from 16 hours in 1982. Similarly, the number of urban areas with more than 20 hours of rush hour traffic has risen from five to 51 in the same time period.

All this delay results in a total annual loss of 3.7 billion hours and the wasting of 2.3 billion gallons of fuel, the report said.

The report comes in the midst of debate over transportation issues in Congress, including a Congestion Relief Program within the six-year transportation bill. However, Tim Lomax, a research engineer with the institute, said in a media release that there is no single solution to the problem.

“Congestion is a complicated issue and can’t be solved with one approach nationwide,” Lomax said. “We need to think about how policies and programs enacted at the federal, state and local levels affect congestion.”

--by Aaron Ladage, Land Line staff