If it feels like every year you give more hours to the hot concrete of your daily commute, well, here’s proof. The Texas A&M Transportation Institute brings us the 2019 Urban Mobility Report, giving us a glimpse of the growing crowds along our country’s roadways.
In Dallas-Fort Worth, the average commuter gives 67 hours a year to traffic delays as of 2017, according to the study. That’s up from 50 hours in 2010 and 13th highest of any U.S. city.
All that extra fuel adds up to an incredible $4.1 billion, or $1,161 per commuter.
Across the country, the Institute finds that while job growth adds more and more commuters, strategies to counteract the added stress on our roadways haven’t kept up. That has led the Institute’s researchers back here:
Along with illustrating the problem, researchers also stress the same straightforward solutions they’ve long advocated: more of everything — roads, transit, squeezing as much efficiency out of the existing system as possible, reducing demand through telework, better balancing demand and roadway capacity by adjusting work hours, and smarter land use.
If you’re stretching to find Dallas’ silver lining, stretch south, where Houston finds itself in the worst shape. Each commuter there throws away 75 hours annually. We’re about on par with Austin, which sits at 66 hours per commuter. San Antonio comes in at 51 hours.
The study gets more granular. The graphic above, for instance, shows the best and worst times to be on the road in Dallas.
Also here, click on DFW’s bubble and you can visualize all kinds of interesting traffic data. The largest portion of the region’s delays within very large urban areas, for instance, occur during peak hours on freeways—about 41 percent. That’s compared to about 30 percent during peak hours on streets. The other 30 percent occur during off-peak hours, a near even split between freeways and streets.