|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.|
|Oklahoma||[view other states]|
To significantly reduce today’s severe congestion and prepare for growth expected by 2030, Oklahoma needs just over 725 new lane-miles at a total cost of $3.1 billion, in today’s dollars. That’s a cost of approximately $76 per resident each year. Oklahoma ranks 32nd out of 50 states and the District of Columbia in terms of most lane-miles needed and 24th in the total costs of those improvements. If the state made these improvements, it would save over 20 million hours per year that are now wasted in traffic jams.
As Table 43 suggests, Oklahoma has no cities that currently suffer from severe congestion, which this study identifies as those areas with Travel Time Indices (TTIs) of 1.18 or higher. Oklahoma City and Tulsa both have TTIs of 1.10 and Lawton has a TTI of 1.04. This means that driving times during peak traffic hours are 10 percent longer than during off-peak times in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, and 4 percent longer in Lawton. TTIs are a regional measure, so there are likely specific points throughout these cities and the state as a whole where traffic congestion is a significant problem.
Unless major steps are taken to relieve congestion, drivers in these three urban areas can expect to see by 2030, TTIs of 1.26 for Oklahoma City and Tulsa, and 1.08 for Lawton. For an idea of how severe that level of congestion would be, note that a TTI of 1.26 is worse than the traffic delays experienced today in places like St. Louis and Cincinnati, cities much larger than any in Oklahoma. (TTIs of 1.08 are experienced in present-day Dayton, OH and Laredo, TX.)
But Oklahoma can significantly reduce these congestion problems by adding about 725 new lane-miles by 2030 at an estimated cost of $3.1 billion in today’s dollars. This investment would save an estimated 20 million hours per year that are now lost sitting in traffic, at a yearly cost of $6.32 per delay-hour saved. 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.
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?