Featured Dataset
"Recession Reduces Gridlock" Congestion Data for U.S. Urban Areas

To Get Started: Click Play Button on bottom of chart and observe trend over time.
Data Source: Texas Transportation Institute + Bureau of Labor Statistics --- xls icon Download raw data (xls)

As unemployment goes up in 2007 through 2009, vehicle miles traveled go down. In LA-Long Beach CA, for instance, the 4,030 freeway miles per person are 3,683 by 2009, less than a 10% decrease. However, during the same period, the annual hours of delay per auto commuter go from 82 to 63, nearly a 25% decrease. The removal of relatively few vehicles from the road leads to free flowing traffic and less congestion. SILVER LINING (admittedly small): decrease in congestion as fewer people drive

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*9 variables to explore
*29 urban areas to study
*Year range: 2004-2009

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These discussions suggests a simple study of the data. Select different variables and manipulate the parameters to further examine and analyze the data. Please Share your Comments, Analysis, and Conclusion

"The Big Picture" Congestion Data

The chart shows how the increasing number of hours spent in cars leads to increasing delays as well as fuel wasted (at a greater than 45 degree slope). The cost runs to billions of dollars and hundreds of billions of hours annually. The problem is particularly acute in large urban areas. The chart also shows the New York/New Jersey area, with far greater public transit use, expending significantly less money and time than more car dependent areas.

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*14 variables related to Smart Growth and transportation policy from TTI data
urban areas
Year range:1982-2009

NOTE: charted values for NY-NJ, New York-Newark - Public Trans.Annual Passenger-miles (million) equal HALF the actual value.

Please Share your Comments, Analysis, and Conclusion

Citation: SSPP Featured Datasets. 2011. Congestion Data for U.S. Urban Areas. Sustainability: Science, Practice, & Policy

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