U.S. Traffic Congestion Wasted 3.9 Billion Gallons Of Fuel In 2009

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HAMILTON –Traffic problems are once again rebounding along with the economy after two years of slight declines due to the economic downturn and high fuel prices, says a new report from the Texas Transportation Institute at Texas A&M University.

According to the 2010 Urban Mobility Report, the national cost of congestion has risen from $24 billion in 1982 to nearly $115 billion in 2009. The total amount of wasted fuel in 2009 topped 3.9 billion gallons – equal to 130 days of flow in the Alaska Pipeline.

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“Drivers in the region will tell you that congestion is bad and is only going to get worse when the economy starts firing on all cylinders again,” says Tracy Noble, spokesperson for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Congestion wastes precious time and resources, while taking a daily toll on our lives. But as the TTI report illustrates, there is no silver bullet, no one-size fits all approach to solving this problem.”

AAA encourages the following approaches to alleviate congestion, where appropriate:

  • maximizing the efficiency of or adding capacity to critical corridors,
  • smarter use of existing road networks (use of intelligent transportation systems, in-vehicle and in-road safety devices, improved commercial vehicle operations, advanced emergency assistance),
  • improving traffic management systems (synchronized traffic signals, computerized traffic control coordination, flextime, telecommuting, carpools),
  • exploring the addition of priced lanes or roads so motorists can optionally pay for an expedited trip,
  • maintaining and improving alternatives to driving (public transportation, bicycling, walking),
  • changing commuting patterns (for example, flexible work hours).

AAA Mid-Atlantic, serves nearly four million members in parts of New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia, and throughout Delaware, Maryland and the District of Columbia, and is on the Web at aaa.com/community.


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