This week, I finally got around to looking at the latest (2009) Texas Transportation Institute study on traffic congestion. (1)
Two facts struck me as interesting. First, the great congestion surge of the past decade or two is over. In most large metropolitan areas, congestion (measured as hours lost to congestion per traveler) peaked around 2005, and actually declined in 2005-07. For example, in Atlanta, hours lost to congestion peaked at 61, and decreased to 57 by 2007. Congestion increased in only three of the fourteen largest regions (Washington, Detroit and Houston)- and in each of these by only one hour per traveler.