The Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) Urban Mobility report released on Aug. 26 found that drivers wasted more than 3 billion gallons of fuel and nearly 7 billion hours stuck in traffic last year.
According to the 2015 Urban Mobility Scorecard produced with data collection company INRIX, the average commuter spent 42 hours in traffic—a number our country has not seen since before the economic recession—and total cost of this congestion is $160 billion, or $960 per commuter.
Pam Whitted, NSSGA senior vice president of government and regulatory affairs, said that a long-term surface transportation reauthorization is vital to improving these statistics.
“If Congress needs any additional incentive to invest in our nation’s roads and highways, they need only read the TTI report. In the absence of congressional action, congestion is getting worse and Americans are wasting more and more of our valuable time in traffic. That is time we could be spending with family and friends,” she said. “Congress needs to act on a multiyear bill when it returns in September. No more delays.”
The news was particularly troubling for those living in the Washington, D.C. area, which topped the list of the most gridlocked urban areas with 82 hours of delay per commuter. Los Angeles, (80 hours), San Francisco (78 hours), New York (74 hours) and San Jose (67 hours) rounded out the five most congested urban areas. However, congestion is not solely found in large metropolitan areas. The report found that traffic is increasing in and around cities of all sizes because roads and bridges, our nation’s infrastructure, cannot keep up with the increased number of commuters. The report predicts that the costs of congestion will only increase without a significant investment in America’s aging infrastructure.
It only takes a moment to urge your members of Congress to solve these traffic jams with a long-term, stably funded investment in our roads and bridges. Tell Congress to pass a robust highway bill today at Aggregates in Action.