Policy Report

Congestion in America

Road traffic congestion results in wasteful oil consumption in cities of all sizes, and severely threatens the potential future oil-saving benefits associated with more efficient vehicles and alternatives fuels.

In 2010, drivers in U.S. urban areas were estimated to have wasted 1.9 billion gallons of fuel.  In the absence of substantial and effective policy intervention, estimates suggest 29 and 65 percent increases in wasted fuel, and equally large increases in travel delays, by 2015 and 2020 respectively.

Congestion in America identifies flexible, multi-dimensional transportation infrastructure policies that address traffic congestion across the country, increase traveler mobility, and reduce wasted time and fuel. The range of options available to policymakers can be grouped into four primary categories:

  • Road Traffic Management
  • Accident/Incident Resolution
  • Public Transit and Other Alternatives
  • Urban Planning and Development

These strategies will achieve the greatest impact on U.S. oil consumption when designed and deployed in a cohesive and complementary fashion which emphasizes the use of appropriate technology, streamlined review processes, and rigorous cost-benefit analysis. Ultimately, effective policies to mitigate and reverse the negative impacts of congestion on the U.S. economy will help reduce wasteful oil consumption in the transportation sector and restore the mobility upon which our dynamic economy depends for continued future growth.  

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“Of special note is the support of a nonpartisan group of business executives and retired senior military leaders concerned about global energy security, known as Securing America’s Future Energy, SAFE.” Senator Daniel Inouye (D-HI)

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