Most expensive & congested commutes in our area

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Driving on congested Harrisburg York-Lancaster area roads costs area commuters a total of $472 million each year, and as much as $2,000 annually per driver depending on which route they travel. This is according to a new report released today by TRIP, a transportation Research Organization in Washington D.C.

“On some of these roads the cost to the average person is up to $2,000 annually, when you just start to value your wasted time and just looking at the wasted fuel,” said Frank Moretti Director of Policy and Research for TRIP. “It’s going to get more congested. The economy is rebounding here in the region, the area is continuing to experience growth, and if you don’t address traffic congestion, if you don’t make these overall improvements you’re going to be spending more time stuck in traffic and losing more time.”

The report identifies the most expensive congested corridors in the Harrisburg-Lancaster-York areas in terms of lost time and wasted fuel. The TRIP report also calculates the yearly and weekly costs per motorist of driving on each of the region’s congested corridors that are most expensive to daily commuters.

Increased investment in transportation improvements at the local, state and federal levels could relieve traffic congestion while improving road and bridge conditions, boosting safety, and supporting long-term economic growth in Pennsylvania.

“The interstate system was created 50 years ago. At the time the design standard was to make them last 50 years, so we’re reaching that point. Just like when you buy a home. The roof after 30 years, if it’s not replaced, it’s going to start to leak. And that’s really where our infrastructure is right now,” said Jason Wagner with the Pennsylvania Highway Information Association.

“To help us fix or relieve on a statewide-basis the congestion, it would cost the average motorist $2.50 a week. Just here alone it’s costing the motorists, for not addressing the transportation problem, $6.00 dollars a week. So we are paying for poor infrastructure. We’re paying for not addressing the problem. We’re paying for ignoring it. We’re paying for delaying it, and the economic impact will continue to grow,” said Wagner.

Corridors with the highest levels of congestion:

1. Rohrerstown Road from Wabank Road to State Street in Lancaster. This congested corridor costs the average rush hour driver 108 hours, 46 additional gallons of gas, and $1,995 annually or $38 weekly.

2. US 222 from New Danville Pike to the PA 501/PA 272 intersection in Lancaster. This congested corridor costs the average rush hour driver 75 hours, 32 additional gallons of gas, and $1,381 annually or $27 weekly.

3. I-81 from Walnut Bottom Road to the Dauphin-Lebanon County Line in Harrisburg. This congested corridor costs the average rush hour driver 67 hours, 29 additional gallons of gas, and $1,227 annually or $24 weekly.

4. Marietta Pike (PA 23) from Orange Street to Stony Battery Road in Lancaster. This congested corridor costs the average rush hour driver 50 hours, 21 additional gallons of gas, and $921 annually or $18 weekly.

5. Country Club and Roathon Road from Kings Mill Road to Midland Avenue in York. This congested corridor costs the average rush hour driver 50 hours, 21 additional gallons of gas, and $921 annually or $18 weekly.

6. Loucks Road and Arsenal Road from the PA 74 entrance ramp to the North Hills Road in York. This congested corridor costs the average rush hour driver 42 hours, 18 additional gallons of gas, and $767 annually or $15 weekly.

7. PA 283 from I-76 to I-83 in Harrisburg. This congested corridor costs the average rush hour driver 25 hours, 11 additional gallons of gas, and $460 annually or nine dollars weekly.

8. US 22 from Herr Street to Mountain Road in Harrisburg. This congested corridor costs the average rush hour driver 25 hours, 11 additional gallons of gas, and $460 annually or nine dollars weekly.

9. Lititz Pike (PA 501) from Oregon Pike to Newport Road in Lancaster. This congested corridor costs the average rush hour driver 25 hours, 11 additional gallons of gas, and $460 annually or nine dollars weekly.

10. Mt. Rose Avenue (PA 124) from Wheatlyn Drive to Cape Horn Road in York. This congested corridor costs the average rush hour driver 25 hours, 11 additional gallons of gas, and $460 annually or nine dollars weekly.

11. Cape Horn Road and Edgewood Road from Overview Drive to Ruppert Road in York. This congested corridor costs the average rush hour driver 25 hours, 11 additional gallons of gas, and $460 annually or nine dollars weekly.

12. I-83 from the Cumberland-York counties line to I-81 in Harrisburg. This congested corridor costs the average rush hour driver 17 hours, 7 additional gallons of gas, and $307 annually or six dollars weekly.

13. King and Orange Streets from Broad Street to West End Avenue in Lancaster. This congested corridor costs the average rush hour driver 17 hours, 7 additional gallons of gas, and $307 annually or six dollars weekly.

14. Church Road, George Street and Emig Road from Church Road to Busser Road in York. This congested corridor costs the average rush hour driver 17 hours, 7 additional gallons of gas, and $307 annually or six dollars weekly.

From TRIP: In total, traffic congestion in the area results in the use of an additional 10 million gallons of fuel and the loss of 22 million hours annually. TRIP calculated each route’s traffic congestion delay based on data provided by PennDOT on the average  time it takes to travel each corridor during peak hours and during non-congested periods. To estimate the amount of time and fuel lost annually by commuters traveling on these segments, TRIP compared travel times during rush hour and non-congested periods.

“Increasing congestion is robbing commuters of time and money at a time when many can ill afford it. Without a significant investment in Pennsylvania’s transportation system, drivers will continue to waste time and fuel, businesses will lose their competitive edge and quality of life will be diminished,” said Jason Wagner, Managing Director of the Pennsylvania Highway Information Association (PHIA).

The report also details suggested improvements to help ease these congested areas. “It’s everything from adding turn lanes to improving interchanges, to improving traffic signals, in some cases adding some additional lanes. it’s clear the types of repairs needed they are cost-effective,” said Moretti.

[TRIP is a Washington, D.C. based national transportation organization.]

To view the reports released Thursday June 20, 2013 on the Harrisburg- York- Lancaster Area click here

2 comments

  • Yepp

    Didn't any of these people try to drive Rt30 at 4:00 PM through York from Roosevelt Ave to North Hills Rd. or the other way. That trip can take you 45 minutes to an hour some days!

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