Policymakers should work to alleviate urban and suburban traffic jams as part of a comprehensive national energy policy, according to Bill Fay, president and chief executive officer of the American Highway Users Alliance.
At the United States Chamber of Commerce's National Energy Summit in Washington DC, Fay said focusing congestion relief efforts on key traffic bottlenecks nationwide could save nearly a billion gallons of fuel annually.
Citing a 1999 study produced for his group by Cambridge Systematics, entitled Unclogging America's Arteries: Prescriptions for Healthier Highways, Fay said improving traffic flow at the nation's 167 worst bottlenecks would cut gasoline and diesel consumption by nearly 20 billion gallons in the next 20 years.
Fay also cited other benefits stemming from fixing the worst traffic bottlenecks, including:
Preventing almost 290,000 crashes, including nearly 1,150 fatalities and 141,000 injuries.
Nearly halving pollution at the sites, cutting carbon monoxide 45% and smog-causing volatile organic compounds 44%.
Slashing emissions of carbon dioxide by 71%.
Reducing delays by an average of 19 minutes per trip — nearly 40 minutes per day for commuters who must negotiate a bottleneck in both morning and evening rush hours.
Unclogging America's Arteries can be accessed at The Highway Users' web site: www.highways.org.