State Strategies to Reduce Traffic Congestion. National Conference of State Legislatures November, 2007

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1 State Strategies to Reduce Traffic Congestion National Conference of State Legislatures November, 2007

2 More People More Freight 40 million more people in last 15 years Highway travel increase , 35% growth in VMT, , 161% growth VMT Transit growth , 15% growth in passenger miles traveled 9.5 billion trips on public transit each year Highest demand for public transportation since WWII Freight growth 12 billion tons of freight worth $10 trillion each year through transportation system

3 People and Freight Travel Growth will Continue Freight movement may double by 2020 Increase in trade with Asia and South America Greater truck travel 64 % increase in truck freight 49 % increase in rail traffic 15% increase in barge traffic

4 Transportation Infrastructure Under Pressure Road capacity has not expanded 1.5% growth in new highway miles since 1980 Railroad concerns Track miles decreased 37% since 1980 Infrastructure built in 1800s for hub-to-hub travel Bridge and tunnel infrastructure aging Height clearances for double-stacked cars Aging rail cars Barge infrastructure concerns Aging locks Average lock delays 6 hours

5 The Result: More Traffic Congestion More traffic on highways In 1982 Congestion delayed travelers 0.7 billion hours 70 percent of travel occurred on uncongested roads In 2005 Congestion delayed travelers 4.2 billion hours 33 percent of travel on uncongested roads 20 percent of travel in extreme congestion 20 percent of travel in severe congestion

6 The Costs of Gridlock Environmental impact Congestion wasted 2.9 billion gallons of fuel in 2005 Economic impact Congestion cost $78.2 billion in 2005 Delays freight delivery Personal impact Unpredictable travel times Annoying Longer trips

7 Specific Traffic Congestion Sources Recurring and non-recurring congestion Major congestion factors Special events - 5% Poor signal timing - 5% Work zones - 10% Bad weather - 15% Traffic incidents - 25% Bottlenecks - 40%

8 Congestion Mitigation Strategies 1. Increase road capacity Construction Enhance capacity of existing roads 2. Decrease number of vehicles on the road

9 Increasing Road Capacity through Construction 1. Can mean new construction or expanding existing roads Target bottlenecks Can include PPPs for funding 2. Challenges Many urban areas already fully developed. Costly to obtain right-of-way Construction creates congestion Traffic might already exceed new capacity when work finally complete

10 Enhancing Capacity of Existing Roads 1. Improve maintenance 2. Improve operations Use of technology to control traffic flow (ITS) Traffic incident management (highway patrols) Arterial management (traffic signal timing) Access management (ramp meters) Freeway management (traffic operations centers) Road weather management (monitor weather conditions) Work zone management Planned special event management Traveler information Automatic toll collection

11 Improving capacity 1. Benefits Lengthens life of existing infrastructure Less disruptive than construction Improves traffic safety 2. Challenges Cost Selling strategies can be difficult

12 Decreasing Vehicles on the Road Promote alternatives Public transit Telecommuting HOV/HOT lanes Pricing to create incentive to use/avoid roads Bike/pedestrian paths Real time traveler information "Livable communities" Diversify development patterns

13 Federal Congestion Initiative Top Priority for U.S. DOT Federal initiative includes 6 components 1. Urban partnership agreements 2. Public Private Partnerships 3. "Corridors of the Future" 4. Southern California freight congestion 5. Congestion at borders 6. Increased aviation capacity

14 2007 State Legislative Activity At least 13 states passed congestion-related legislation in 2007 Diverse approaches HI - traffic control center on Maui IN - supported commuter and transportation alternatives study KS - Bike and pedestrian path development MD - Telecommuting study

15 Other Examples of Traffic Congestion Mitigation Strategies Chandler, AZ - Traffic signal timing improvements reduced AM peakperiod delays by 30 percent and PM peak-period delays by 7 percent Kansas City - Traffic signal timing improvements reduced annual delay by 101,000 hours and saved 91,000 gallons of gas Fargo, ND - VMS reduced travel times 18 percent Detroit - ITS decreased trip times by 4.6 minutes and reduced delay by 22 percent Pennsylvania - Traffic incident management system reduced highway incident closure time by 55 percent New Jersey - EZ pass reduces toll station delay by 85 percent Washington, D.C. - Study estimates that commuters using traveler info could improve on-time reliability by 16 percent New York, Tappan Zee Bridge vehicles/hour in the electronic toll collection lane, 500 vehicles/hour in manual collection lane

16 Good Traffic Congestion Resources Texas Transportation Institute FHWA Congestion Relief page

17 For More Information Matt Sundeen National Conference of State Legislatures Phone: (303)