New report identifies worst commutes in area; Congestion costs drivers $2,000/year

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Driving on congested Harrisburg-York-Lancaster area roads costs area commuters a total of $472 million each year – as much as $2,000 annually per driver depending on which route they travel. A new report released today by TRIP identifies the most expensive congested corridors in the Harrisburg area in terms of lost time and wasted fuel and outlines a comprehensive set of strategies to help relieve traffic congestion and enhance transportation reliability in the region. 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. TRIP is a Washington, DC based national transportation organization.
According to the report, “The Region’s Most Expensive Commutes: Congested Corridors in the Harrisburg-York-Lancaster Area and the Steps Needed to Relieve Traffic Congestion,” local commuters experience the highest levels of congestion on the following corridors:
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.
In total, traffic congestion in the Harrisburg urban 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 Pennsylvania Governor’s Transportation Funding Advisory Commission found that Pennsylvania currently needs to spend an additional $552 million annually on projects to relieve traffic congestion. By 2030 the annual funding shortfall for needed congestion relief projects is expected to increase to approximately $1.4 billion annually, based on current funding. These projects include improved traffic management, improved traffic signalization and providing additional road and highway capacity.
“Congested roadways limit opportunities for employment, economic growth, education, recreation and social opportunities. Relieving congestion will require increased transportation funding and a comprehensive approach that includes expanding the capacity of the state’s transportation system, improving the efficiency of the existing system and offering alternatives for some peak-hour trips,” said Will Wilkins, executive director of TRIP.

1 Comment

  • MyTakeOnIt

    #5 & #10 are nearly completely caused by the traffic sensor loops in the road being bad. It's a dirty little secret that the loops go bad which triggers timing problems that cannot really be seen by the public. The local municipalities are legally responsible for maintenance per each traffic signal permit issued by PennDOT however most have no revenue to focus on a problem that isn't detectable with the naked eye during daylight hours. The municipalities also do not have the resources to verify that a problem exists. Engineering of a traffic signal timing program for each intersection is undermined by the lack of maintenance that occurs after the installation of the signal.
    If Fox43 would like to investigate my claims, perhaps for an expose report, feel free to contact me. The problem is rampant across the York metro area and is not limited to #5 & #10 on the list above.

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