Busiest US Highways: Traffic Bottlenecks

As America continues to expand and grow, dealing with daily traffic has become a way of life. For truck drivers, it’s part of the job and comes with the territory of spending time on the road. We at AAA Interstate did some research, and investigated the busiest American highway intersections.

 According to the American Transportation Research Institute below are the top 5 worst cites for bottlenecks in 2017:

  • Atlanta, Georgia at the I-285 connector at I-85 North
  • Fort Lee, New Jersey along I-95 at SR 4
  • Chicago, Illinois on I-290 at I-90/I-94
  • Louisville, Kentucky where I-65 meets I-64/I-71
  • Cincinnati, Ohio at the I-71 and I-75 connector

The consistently delay caused by traffic comes at a huge cost for every associated. The Ameican Transportation Research Institute estimates a productivity loss price tag of $2.4 billion to the economy.

There are many contributing factor to congestion, but according to the ATRI the following creates the most pauses in traffic flow:

  • The obvious factor of too many drivers along a single stretch of a road
  • Highway design including ramps, merging lanes, and a lack of visibility around curves, all of which force drivers to slow down
  • Construction and road maintenance
  • Weather conditions
  • Traffic accidents
  • Visual distractions like billboards, texting while driving, the scenery, etc.
  • Special events that bloat traffic at random

Effective solutions that have worked in cities tackling congestion include:

  • Increasing communication and information, i.e. 511 traveler information system, Dynamic Message Signs, etc.
  • The increased dependence on navigational technologies that help drivers be more efficient in their routes
  • Access control via ramp metering on freeways staggers merging traffic so the flow doesn’t collapse
  • HOV (high occupancy vehicle) lanes and HOT (high occupancy toll) lanes
  • Infrastructure projects including re-configuring merges, repaving surfaces, realigning curves, rebuilding bridges, etc.

Source: (Murry, Dan. “Congestion Chokepoints Hurt Economy, Environment.” http://atri-online.org/2017/01/25/atri-releases-annual-list-of-top-100-truck-bottlenecks/. ATRI, January 25 2017)