Traffic Congestion is a $78 Billion Annual Drain on the U.S. Economy

Traffic congestion continues to worsen in American cities of all sizes, creating a $78 billion annual drain on the U.S. economy in the form of 4.2 billion lost hours and 2.9 billion gallons of wasted fuel—that's 105 million weeks of vacation and 58 fully-loaded supertankers. 

The Texas Transportation Institute just released their 2007 Urban Mobility report.  I've been waiting for the release of this report for months.  This is report has been two years in the making.  It is a nationally known study of mobility and traffic congestion on freeways and major streets in American cities. Governments and Transportation experts throughout the world have been waiting for its release. 

The 2007 mobility report notes that congestion causes the average peak period traveler to spend an extra 38 hours of travel time and consume an additional 26 gallons of fuel, amounting to a cost of $710 per traveler.  Along with expanding the estimates of the effect of congestion to all 437 U.S. urban areas, the study provides detailed information for 85 specific urban areas.  The report also focuses on the problems presented by "irregular events"—crashes, stalled vehicles, work zones, weather problems and special events—that cause unreliable travel times and contribute significantly to the overall congestion problem.