Bloomberg’s Joshua Zumbrun points us to data from the Federal Highway Authority projecting what traffic on America’s highways will look like in 2040 if we don’t expand capacity to accommodate growing demand.
It’s real bad. Huge swaths of the country will basically be a gigantic traffic jam.
For comparison, here’s what congestion looked like in 2007:
If nothing is done to improve the situation, areas of “recurring peak-period congestion” — what you currently experience driving Washington’s Beltway, the New Jersey Turnpike, all of Atlanta, etc. during rush hour — will expand to 37% of the National Highway System by 2040 from 11% in 2007.
As a result, 45,000 miles of the National Highway System will become “stop-and-go,” and an additional 20,000 miles will become “slow.”
It’s not clear whether the FHA has taken into account data showing passenger driving in the U.S. has actually been on the wane.
But the FHA released nearly identical projections in 2008 (this is actually what Zumbrun linked to), so it’s clear this is a major blind spot for the government.
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