|Principal Investigator||Bill Eisele, Ph.D.|
|Final Report (DOI)||View Final Report|
|TRID||View TRID – 1862637|
It is not yet clear what the lasting effect of the COVID‐19 pandemic will be on U.S. urban transportation systems. The mix of strategies that are deployed in urban America will be different for each region — better traffic operations; more travel options; new land development styles; more highways, streets, and public transportation; advanced technology will all play a role. Working from home, long an underappreciated solution, will certainly have a much bigger role after the pandemic experience. The trends from 1982 to 2020 show that congestion was a persistently growing problem, until 2020, when congestion was different from city to city, road to road, and hour to hour. The “four congestion years” of 2020 took us on a ride from the present to the early 1990s, and back to the mid‐2000s. 2021 will see faster congestion growth than any time since 1982. Annual 2020 congestion costs and travel delay were about half of the 2019 problem — total congestion delay was like 1997, more than two decades ago. Per commuter cost was less than 1982 in constant 2020 dollars. Truck traffic volume did not decline nearly as much as passenger car traffic problems thanks to the increase in at‐home delivery of essential goods and services. 2020 employment was down 9 percent and traffic volume was down 18 percent from 2019. This document includes congestion estimates for each of the 494 U.S. urban areas, an overview of congestion relief strategies, truck congestion data, and a look at COVID-19 related hospitalizations and traffic volumes.