JEFFERSON CITY - How would you like to spend a week's vacation sitting in traffic? According to a study by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute, the average American urban commuter can expect to experience 38 hours of delay every year, due to congestion.Though any delay is less than ideal, Missourians fare better than most. St. Louis and Kansas City drivers experience 31 and 27-equivalent hours of congestion delay each year. Congestion is not limited to major cities. Industrial areas and tourism hot spots are among other sites of slow-downs. Congestion adds to air pollution and fuel waste. It's a concern the Missouri Department of Transportation takes seriously."We constantly monitor traffic on state highways. If an incident occurs, our maintenance crews and urban motorist assist teams respond to assist law enforcement and emergency responders by directing traffic and getting traffic flow back to normal as soon as possible," said Don Hillis, MoDOT's assistant chief engineer. "By remaining alert, setting aside cellphones and obeying speed limits, drivers can improve safety and avoid crashes that contribute to traffic delays. Safe and thoughtful habits can help reduce delays for everyone."Those congestion-reducing habits include:
MoDOT makes use of signal timing and infrastructure improvements such as double-diamond interchanges to optimize travel times. "This study comes at an interesting time," said Hillis. "MoDOT is in the midst of updating its 20-year, long-range plan. We need to know the priorities Missourians want to set for the future of transportation in the state and invite all to join in the planning."MoDOT is holding listening sessions, a mobile tour and virtual forums so all those who are interested can actively participate in conversations about our state's future. Visit www.missourionthemove.org to share suggestions and learn more.