A new report finds that U.S. traffic congestion continues to grow – negatively impacting both commuters and the goods movement industry.
The 2019 Urban Mobility Report, published by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI), provides a comprehensive analysis of traffic conditions in 494 urban areas across the United States. Along with illustrating the problem, researchers also stress the same straightforward solutions and strategies they’ve long advocated for: more of everything — roads, transit, squeezing as much efficiency out of the existing system as possible, better balancing demand and roadway capacity by adjusting work hours, and smarter land use.
“No single approach will ever solve this complex problem,” says report author Tim Lomax. “What the country needs is a robust, information-powered conversation at the local, state and national levels about what steps should be taken. We have many strategies; we have to figure out the right solution for each problem and a way to pay for them.”
“The value of investing in our nation’s transportation infrastructure in a strategic and effective manner cannot be overstated as these added costs impact our national productivity, quality of life, economic efficiency and global competitiveness,” said Marc Williams of the Texas Department of Transportation.
“The problem affects not only commuters, but also manufacturers and shippers whose travel delay costs are passed on to consumers,” added report author Bill Eisele.
The report states that “congestion is also a type of tax.” Nationwide Gridlock is costing us:
- $166 billion in fuel and delay costs (equal to the cost of about 163 million summer vacations)
- $21 billion in delays for truck operations (equivalent to the average grocery bills of 2.7 million families)
The Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim region ranked #1 on the list of 15 ‘Very Large’ Urban Areas (areas with a population of over 3 million.)
Here’s how congestion impacts the Los Angeles region annually (these figures are striking when compared to the average for Very Large Urban areas):
- Travel Delay = 971, 478 hours – compared to an average of 309,400 hours
- Excess Fuel Consumed = 256,931 gallons – compared to an average of 110,00 gallons
- Truck Congestions Cost = $2,127 million – compared to an average of $690 million
- Total Congestion Cost = $17,784 million – compared to an average of $5,700 million
And here’s the annual cost to the average Los Angeles area auto commuter:
Yearly Delay = 119 hours
Excess Fuel Consumption = 35 gallons
Congestion Cost = $2,440
The Riverside-San Bernardino region ranked #2 on the list of 32 ‘Large’ Urban Areas (areas with a population of 1-3 million.)
Here’s how congestion impacts the Riverside-San Bernardino region annually (compared to the average Large Urban area):
- Travel Delay = 107,411 hours – compared to an average of 61,500 hours
- Excess Fuel Consumed = 28,106 gallons – compared to an average of 24,000 gallons
- Truck Congestions Cost = $235 million – compared to an average of $140 million
- Total Congestion Cost = $1,965 million – compared to an average of $1,140 million
And the annual cost to the average Riverside-San Bernardino auto commuter is:
Yearly Delay = 70 hours
Excess Fuel Consumption = 20 gallons
Congestion Cost = $1,180
View the full 2019 Urban Mobility Report here
TTI has also made available a nationwide interactive map of congestion conditions and a dozens of ways to address roadway gridlock in its How to Fix Congestion guide.