Reason Foundation

http://reason.org
http://reason.org/news/show/mobility-project-state-by-stat-44

Reason Foundation

Mobility Project - State-by-State Analysis of Future Congestion and Capacity Needs - Florida

August 1, 2006

 
     
 


Reason Foundation
Mobility Project

Traffic Congestion in America's Cities


  Printer-friendly

  Email This Page

 
 


How bad will traffic congestion be in 2030? How much construction and how many new lane miles will each state and major city need to add over the next 25 years to prevent severe congestion? And how much will it all cost? The Reason Foundation study Building Roads to Reduce Traffic Congestion in America's Cities: How Much and at What Cost? and its addendum, A Detailed State-by-State Analysis of Future Congestion and Capacity Needs, provide in-depth answers to these questions. An interactive map ranking the states by congestion and costs to reduce traffic is here and a map of the most congested cities is here.


 
 

Florida

[view other states]

 
 


Florida has six urbanized areas that suffer from severe congestion, more than any other state except California. The Sunshine State is expected to add another 6.4 million people in its urbanized areas by 2030. Traffic congestion is a serious threat to the state's economic health.

To significantly reduce today's severe congestion and prepare for growth expected by 2030, Florida needs over 8,500 new lane-miles at a total cost of $39 billion, in today's dollars. That's a cost of approximately $95 per resident each year. Florida ranks third out of 50 states and the District of Columbia in terms of most lane-miles needed and fifth in the total costs of those improvements.

If the state made these improvements, it would save over 531 million hours per year that are now wasted in traffic jams. In addition to these time savings, there would be additional benefits that are not quantified in this study, including: lower fuel use, reduced accident rates and vehicle operating costs, lower shipping costs and truck travel time reductions, greater freight reliability, and a number of benefits associated with greater community accessibility, including an expanded labor pool for employers and new job choices for workers.

Florida has six cities that currently suffer from severe congestion, which this study identifies as areas with Travel Time Indices (TTIs) of 1.18 or higher. (This means that driving times during peak traffic hours are 18 percent longer than during off-peak times.) These cities (Miami-Hialeah, Tampa-St. Petersburg, Orlando, Jacksonville, Sarasota-Bradenton, and Cape Coral) are addressed separately below.

As Table 15 shows, the other cities in Florida with populations of over 50,000 are currently less congested than the six above, with one TTI of 1.12 (Pensacola) and the rest in the 1.04�1.08 range. However, the relative increase in delay projected over the next 25 years for these cities is still quite high, ranging from 100�150 percent, with Gainesville experiencing the largest increase at 150 percent. (The 'delay' in the travel time is the portion of the TTI over 1.0.) Such dramatic increases in traffic delays will be sharply felt by local commuters.

With projected TTIs of 1.08�1.10, cities like Deltona, Panama City and Tallahassee are facing future traffic delays similar to those currently experienced in the much larger cities of Dayton, Cleveland, and Pittsburgh, respectively. And Pensacola is looking at worse congestion than present-day St. Louis and Cincinnati.

Miami-Hialeah

Miami-Hialeah's is tied with Houston for the dubious honor of being the sixth most congested city in the nation. The area's Travel Time Index (TTI) is expected to rise from 1.42 to 1.84 by 2030 This means that travel times during peak traffic hours are projected to be 84 percent longer than during off-peak times. The level of congestion is far worse than even the most congested region in the United States, Los Angeles.

Miami could significantly reduce severe congestion and have room for the incoming population growth by adding 3,400 new lane-miles by 2030 at an estimated cost of $30 billion, in today's dollars. That's a cost of $189 per resident each year. This investment would save 354 million hours each year that residents currently lose sitting in traffic. This does not account for the additional benefits not quantified in this study, including: lower fuel use, reduced accident rates and vehicle operating costs, lower shipping costs and truck travel time reductions, greater freight reliability, and a number of benefits associated with greater community accessibility, including an expanded labor pool for employers and new job choices for workers.

The $30 billion needed to significantly reduce severe congestion is 1.5 times the planned transportation spending under the Miami-Dade Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) long-range plans. Those plans call for $19.3 billion over the next 25 years -- $6.0 billion on highway improvements and $13.3 billion on mass transit. While just 3.9 percent of Miami area workers now use mass transit to commute, transit accounts for 69 percent of the area's planned transportation spending over the next 25 years.

Tampa-St. Petersburg

Tampa-St. Petersburg's Travel Time Index (TTI) is expected to rise from 1.33 to 1.50 by 2030. This means that in 2030, travel times during peak traffic hours will be 50 percent longer than during off-peak times. This level of congestion is worse than present-day Atlanta and will certainly have adverse effects on the regional economy.

The area could significantly reduce severe congestion and have room for the incoming population growth by adding 1,288 new lane-miles by 2030 at an estimated cost of $2.4 billion, in today's dollars. That's a cost of $38.81 per resident each year. This investment would save 62.8 million hours each year that residents currently lose sitting in traffic.

Orlando

Orlando's Travel Time Index (TTI) is projected to rise from 1.30 to 1.59 by 2030. This means that driving times during peak traffic hours will be 59 percent longer than during off-peak times. Traffic congestion of this magnitude is worse than that currently in any city in the nation, with the exception of Los Angeles, and the impact will be felt by commuters and businesses alike.

Orlando could significantly reduce severe congestion and have room for the imminent growth by adding nearly 581 new lane-miles by 2030 at an estimated cost of $1.2 billion, in today's dollars. That's a cost of $27.70 per resident each year. This investment would save 65 million hours each year that city residents now lose sitting in traffic, at a cost of a mere $0.72 per delay-hour saved.

Jacksonville

By 2030, the Jacksonville area will see its Travel Time Index (TTI) grow from 1.18 to 1.36, to a level similar to present-day Dallas-Fort Worth. This means that driving times during peak traffic hours are 36 percent longer than during off-peak times. This growth is similar to that in the Cape Coral area and represents a doubling of the delay in the travel time over 25 years. (The 'delay' in the travel time is the portion of the TTI over 1.0.).

Jacksonville could significantly reduce severe congestion by adding 508 new lane-miles by 2030 at an estimated cost of $1.1 billion, in today's dollars. That's a cost of $38.73 per resident each year. This investment would save 18 million hours each year that residents now lose sitting in traffic, at a cost of just $2.49 per delay-hour saved.

Sarasota-Bradenton

The Travel Time Index (TTI) in the Sarasota-Bradenton area is projected to rise from 1.25 to 1.42 by 2030, which is where Miami is today. This means that driving times during peak traffic hours are forecasted to be 42 percent longer than travel times during off-peak hours.

Severe congestion could be significantly reduced in the Sarasota-Bradenton area by adding 686 new lane-miles by 2030 at an estimated cost of $1.0 billion, in today's dollars. That's a cost of $58.30 per resident each year. This investment would save 11 million hours each year that residents lose sitting in traffic, at a cost of just $3.93 for each hour saved.

Cape Coral

Cape Coral's Travel Time Index (TTI), now at 1.18 are expected to grow to 1.36 by 2030, to a level similar to that of present-day Dallas-Fort Worth. This means that driving times during peak traffic hours are expected to be 36 percent longer than during off-peak times. This growth is similar to that in the Jacksonville area and represents a doubling of the delay in the travel time over 25 years. (The 'delay' in the travel time is the portion of the TTI over 1.0.).

Cape Coral could significantly reduce these severe congestion problems by adding just over 325 new lane-miles by 2030 at an estimated cost of $439 million, in today's dollars. That's a cost of $40.25 per resident each year. This investment would save a nearly 5.5 million hours each year that residents now lose sitting in traffic, at a cost of only $3.20 per delay-hour saved.


(click here for larger image)

» Return to Index Page: Study, State-By-State Data, Maps
» Return to Interactive Map of Traffic U.S. Congestion Statistics and Construction Needs


This information is excerpted from A Detailed State-by-State Analysis of Future Congestion and Capacity Needs and Building Roads to Reduce Traffic Congestion in America's Cities: How Much and at What Cost?

Additional Resources:
» Reason Foundation's Mobility Project Main Page
» Reason Foundation's Transportation Research and Commentary
» Reason Foundation's Press Room

» return to top

 


Print This