AASHTO Journal, 2 October 2015
July saw the highest-ever traffic volume on U.S. roadways, the Federal Highway Administration said, and showed vehicle use across the nation had risen for 17 consecutive months.
The FHWA announcement also said January-July traffic demand this year was the highest on record, continuing a growth trend in line with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s projections in a “Beyond Traffic” report it issued earlier this year.
According to the report, travel on all roads and streets grew by 4.2% (11.4 billion vehicle miles) for July 2015 as compared with July 2014.
These steady increases in demand come as Congress is grappling with how to fund a long-term surface transportation bill to fund highway, transit and rail programs, and how much to increase the federal investment share.
U.S. DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx and Deputy Secretary Victor Mendez have been pushing for Congress to use the measure to significantly boost federal infrastructure spending, enough to reduce congestion levels rather than just keep investment levels even with or slightly above current spending.
They have both said the Senate-passed DRIVE Act’s mild spending increases would not be enough to prevent congestion from worsening throughout the U.S. transportation network.