BRYAN, Tex. (KBTX) - If you feel like you are sitting in traffic more often, new research proves it's not just your imagination.
A new report from the Texas A&M Transportation Institute said delays are costing local drivers almost a workweek in lost time and $650 a year in wasted time and fuel. TTI's new Urban Mobility Report said the average American commuter now loses 54 hours yearly and $1,000 in wasted time and fuel.
The main impact they found: roads in the U. S. are becoming more congested. Read the report for yourself in the related documents section of this article.
"What we're finding is that this is not just a big city problem. We’re finding locations that are under a half a million that are also growing rapidly," said Bill Eisele, Texas A&M Transportation Institute Senior Research Engineer. He is also a co-author on the report.
"In fact if you look at our statistics back to 1982 they’re quadrupling in congestion levels as opposed to the large areas which have only tripled in congestion," he said.
He said the solutions include a little bit of everything including all of us changing our habits like planning ahead on trips, using traffic apps, to adjusting schedules.
"Perhaps work with our employers look at flex timing or commuting options all of these things are a part of the solution," Eisele said.
"We need more of all the solutions that are out there and we need to continue that dialog at the local, state and national level to identify those problems and more importantly the funding that can fix it," he said.
City engineers and traffic planners are looking at new roads in our area for the future and major projects like widening Highway 6.
"We're designing things so we don't have to rebuild them in you know 15 or 20 years that they'll last us a little longer," said Paul Kaspar, Bryan City Engineer.
"The projects you’ll see the most relief from those are going to be projects that TxDOT and the Metropolitan Planning Organization are going to be funding over the next few years," said Kaspar.
Researchers said a booming economy means millions of more Americans have jobs and that also brings more vehicles on roads.
"So in Bryan and College Station, it's a vibrant community. We live here it's a wonderful place to live a good quality of life," said Eisele. "The university is growing. Blinn is also growing and retirees are coming back. Aggies are coming back to the community so all of that leads to more population, more traffic," said Eisele.
TTI said if you want the worst congestion in the state, head to Houston. Drivers there lose 75 hours a year stuck in traffic. Austin sits at 64 hours a year.
Los Angeles is the worst in the country. Drivers there lost 119 hours in 2017.
TTI has been doing this study for almost 40 years. This latest edition took about a year to compile.