Why is traffic congestion getting worse? The answer seems obvious, right? Every day there are more cars on our roadways, lining up bumper to bumper and inching their way toward various destinations.
Texas’ strong economy has generated unprecedented population growth. According to the US Census Bureau, Texas adds approximately 1,100 people daily and that means more cars on Texas roadways.
Where They're Going
87 percent of Texans live in counties along and to the east of Interstate 35 according to the State Demographic Center.
Total Estimated Population
According to Texas A&M's Texas Transportation Institute (TTI), the number of registered vehicles in Texas has risen 172 percent in the past four decades. In that same period, highway capacity has increased by only 19 percent.
According to the 2015 Urban Mobility Scorecard, “Travel delays due to traffic congestion caused drivers nationally to waste more than 3 billion gallons of fuel and kept travelers stuck in their cars for nearly seven billion extra hours” each year. The total annual nationwide price tag: $160 billion, or $960 per commute. In five of Texas’ largest metropolitan areas, drivers are losing about 52 hours and $1,200 annually due to traffic congestion — much higher than the national average. Left unchecked, traffic congestion in Texas is predicted to worsen. According to the Urban Mobility Scorecard, by 2020, with a continued strong economy:
- Average delay per Texas commuter could grow from 52 hours to 58 hours annually.
- Average total annual cost of congestion per Texas commuter could jump from $1,200 to $1,343.
Top 100 Congested Roads
According to a TTI study, growth-induced traffic gridlock is getting worse every year. The research includes a list of the top 100 congested roads in addition to an examination of nearly 1,800 roads across our state.
Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio represent more than 65 percent of the Texas population. It is estimated by 2050 these metropolitan areas may comprise nearly 74 percent of the state population. They’re also home to 92 of the “Top 100” most congested roadway segments in the state.
Texas Transportation Commission Response