We’re #1 … Again

Posted on September 22, 2015 in: Traffic Congestion

The Texas A&M Transportation Institute and Inrix issued their 2015 Urban Mobility Scorecard, the annual report on traffic congestion around the nation. Is anyone surprised as to who once again ranks #1 for the nation’s worst congestion?

The Washington, DC Metropolitan Region (DC-VA-MD) ranks #1 for delay time at 82 hours per driver per year, twice the national average! We are also wasting 88 million gallons of gasoline annually sitting on our congested road network.

The Washington DC region experiences more daily inter-jurisdictional travel than any other region in the country. With a regional population that is forecasted to continue to grow, largely in the outer suburbs, and regional employment growing outside the traditional core, #1 will be hard to relinquish unless we are willing to make hard decisions and wise investments.

Now is the time for our regional decision makers to develop an agreed upon priority list of game-changing investments and focus our precious tax dollars on those transportation improvements of greatest regional significance – projects that reduce congestion, improve commuting times and increase network reliability.

An interesting sidelight in the analysis of this report concerns the lifestyle pattern changes of millennials. Key decisions — including major transportation investments — being made today are often based on perceived patterns of this population cohort. Priorities need to be based on long-term empirical evidence, not what some want the outcome to be.

You can review the data for the Washington metro region here.

How Long Must We Have the Nation’s Worst Congestion Before Area Leaders Realize “Small Ball” Transportation Investments Aren’t Working?