• December 22, 2014

Cost of congestion

Texas A&M study ranks roadways across state

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Posted: Saturday, August 30, 2014 4:30 am

A study released Friday by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute analyzes congested roadways and ranks one of Killeen’s roads at No. 486 out of 1,783 roadway sections in the state.

U.S. Highway 190/Central Texas Expressway from Willow Springs Road to East Stan Schlueter Loop was the top congested road in Killeen, according to the study.

TTI research scientist David Schrank said 25 urban regions with populations greater than 50,000 and metropolitan planning organizations were selected for the study.

“What we took away, especially in smaller regions, is delay and congestion is relative with other areas,” Schrank said. “Being late to a Little League game in Killeen is no different than being late to one in Houston. Even though congestion doesn’t seem as bad, it has the same side effects.”

Topping the list as the worst congested roadway is Interstate 610 West Loop in Houston. Interstate 35 in Austin and the Southwest Freeway in Houston round out the top three.

Factored into the data from the study are cost estimates based on wasted time and fuel for passenger and commercial vehicles, Schrank said.

Stan Schlueter Loop from South

Clear Creek Road/State Highway 201 to Central Texas Expressway received an annual congestion cost of $14.15 million, according to the study.

A Texas congestion index looks at peak driving times in morning and evening rushes along roadways.

A planning time index looks at the worst or longest amount of time budgeted along those segments compared to driving them when there are no traffic lights or incidents in the area.

Schrank said bad weather days, or crashes and construction also are factored in.

Researchers analyzed roadway inventory and traffic volume information from the Texas Department of Transportation along with speed data from private-sector source INRIX to produce this year’s list, TTI spokesman Bernie Fette said.

Waco District TxDOT spokesman Ken Roberts said it takes communication, interaction and metropolitan organizations to look at long-term solutions to identify what can be done in response to traffic congestion on roadways.

Lots of growth

Current construction in the area is a response to significant growth in the past 10 to 15 years with troop sizes, new housing and businesses, he said.

Projects from U.S. 190 through Killeen to Temple and from Copperas Cove to Harker Heights are underway to increase the capacity of vehicles exiting the roadway for a safer, more efficient flow of traffic, Roberts said.

In the future, Roberts said cultural shifts, other modes of transportation, technology and individual responsibility should be factored in.

“There is no one answer,” Roberts said. “But in the meantime, we’re doing everything that we can as a responsible steward of our state’s resources to be good partners and to address the transportation needs in our area.”

Projects planned

Killeen Mayor Scott Cosper, who has served on TxDOT’s policy board since 2000, said projects are prioritized while taking an approach to move traffic for the next 30 years.

Improving the intersection at Trimmier and Central Texas Expressway, with a center turn lane at Trimmier, is one example to improve safety and capacity for motorists, Cosper said.

“We are regionally and locally constantly looking at ways to improve intersections that might be bottlenecks,” Cosper said.

Killeen spokeswoman Hilary Shine said local road projects are among the goals in the city’s strategic plan.

“Killeen works diligently with (Fort Hood), the region and the state to create a transportation network that can service the amount of traffic in the Killeen and Fort Hood area,” Shine said.

There are constant efforts to improve signals and synchronization to improve traffic flow during peak hours, she said.

The city has commissioned a thoroughfare master plan update that will capture current infrastructure and plan for future needs, Shine said.

View the complete study at http://mobility.tamu.edu/most-congested-texas/

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5 comments:

  • Dr Strangelove posted at 1:29 pm on Sat, Aug 30, 2014.

    Dr Strangelove Posts: 579

    Barbie, I can see you drink the Kool Aid stop being a sheep and don’t believe any of the propaganda coming from KPD. It’s a fact they do not contribute to traffic safety in fact they cause more rear-end accidents. Why do you think all those other cities are getting rid of those cameras? If you want red light scam cameras move to Germany you’ll be happy. I’ve done some research they do not have a contract with Bell County so if you don’t pay the scam ticket you can still register your vehicle. If I ever get another ticket I will NOT PAY IT. By law they have to prove “I” was driving the vehicle and those rip off cameras can’t prove it so the City of Killeen and pound sand.

    I’ve boycotted shopping in Killeen for years now; they will not get my sales tax dollars until they get rid of those red light scam cameras. I purchased three high ticket items last month including a new car—Temple got the sales tax money.
    [

     
  • barbie500 posted at 11:06 am on Sat, Aug 30, 2014.

    barbie500 Posts: 143

    You are so right. Also they need to start giving tickets for the speeding and left lane driving. People are driving like crazy people, like they have somewhere they have to be an hour ago, weaving in and out and yet when you get to a stop sign or red light there they are.

     
  • barbie500 posted at 11:02 am on Sat, Aug 30, 2014.

    barbie500 Posts: 143

    How are they ripping off citizens when the citizens are breaking the law? If you run a red light you should get a ticket and on a right turn when you have a red light you are supposed to stop. You are right they do need to put more cameras in so people will learn they need to obey the law, and it will cut down on accidents.

     
  • Dr Strangelove posted at 10:40 am on Sat, Aug 30, 2014.

    Dr Strangelove Posts: 579

    What Killeen needs is more Red Light scam cameras in downtown Killeen so they can make more money by ripping the citizens off; yep that will fix the traffic problems.

     
  • Bubba posted at 9:17 am on Sat, Aug 30, 2014.

    Bubba Posts: 758

    there wouldn't be a problem if people obeyed the law and got out of the left lane instead of illegally blocking it.

     

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