Recently, Texas Transportation Institute issued The 2011 Congested Corridors Report. By using a corridor as a three mile stretch, they look at traffic flows along 328 corridors. Of these corridors, which accounted for 6 percent of the nation’s total freeway lane-miles but generated 36 percent of the urban freeway congestion. They also accounted for 8 percent of truck activity, but 33 of truck freeway delay. As with other studies, they note that it is unreliability more so than simply traffic volumes itself that places a greater burden on the traveling public.
The growing spread of congestion and its influence on traffic is not necessarily new, as both Federal Highway Administration and American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) have estimated trucking bottlenecks in the past.
Clearly, as traffic congestion occurs. TTI suggests that solving congestion is not necessarily a single problem, but would take many solutions. In this regards, they are correct, although most people see this as a federal response to local planning and transportation decisions. Unfortunately, I think the locals are going to have be more aggressive in finding solutions to congestion despite discussions in MAP-21 and TIGER programs. (Curious if this will be discussed at the talking freight on MAP-21 in a few weeks.)