Baton Rouge, La. — A new national report ranking Baton Rouge the third worst in the country among mid-sized cities for the impact of traffic congestion on commuters points to the need for serious and specific transportation infrastructure solutions, according to CRISIS, the Baton Rouge area regional business-led coalition for transportation improvements.
The newly released Texas A&M Transportation Institute’s (TTI) “2015 Annual Urban Mobility Scorecard” lists Baton Rouge third worst for “moderate average” sized urban areas in the category of average commuter annual traffic delay, at 47 hours per year. The Baton Rouge area also ranks second worst among mid-sized cities for the amount of annual excess fuel consumed per commuter (25 gallons), and number one on the list for the amount of money congestion is costing the average commuter per year, at $1,262. Baton Rouge also ranks third worst for cities its size both for freeway travel reliability, and for total truck congestion costs per year, at $189 million.
“This report provides hard data confirming what most regional business leaders and workers already feel intuitively, which is that traffic congestion is taking an increasing toll on company bottom lines and family bank accounts,” said Hugh Raetzsch, President and CEO of Lyons Specialty Company of Port Allen, and CRISIS Vice Chair. “The cost of commuting and transporting goods and services continues to rise, impacting our region’s quality of life and economic expansion. This report only underscores our region’s urgent need for serious and specific transportation infrastructure solutions. The time for action is now.”
Based on CRISIS analysis of TTI historical data, for the ten-year period between 2004 and 2014, annual congestion-related costs for the average commuter in the Baton Rouge area have gone from $862 to $1,262 per year, an increase of $400. Over the same time period, Baton Rouge area commuters have almost doubled their excess fuel consumption, from 13 to 25 gallons per year, and added another 13 hours per year stuck in traffic delays, a 38 percent increase from 2004 levels.
Capital Region Industry for Sustainable Infrastructure Solutions, or CRISIS, is a regionally balanced, business-led coalition that seeks to provide a leadership voice to address the Baton Rouge area’s transportation crisis, identifying solutions and advocating for their prioritization and funding. For more information, visit www.trafficcrisis.com.