Feds propose new rules on measuring highway congestion | Arkansas Blog

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Feds propose new rules on measuring highway congestion

Posted By on Sat, Apr 23, 2016 at 7:16 AM

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The Federal Highway Administration this week issued proposed new rules to make states do a better job of collecting travel time data and monitoring highway performance.

The Hill provides some background. Also from the Transportation Department:

Through this effort, there will be more consistency in how states measure congestion, especially on heavily traveled highways during peak hours. Reducing highway congestion improves productivity and contributes to the nation’s economy, especially for the freight industry. The added benefits of reducing congestion include reducing greenhouse gas emissions and better air quality. Critical to the overall success of our transportation system, these measures can also help inform decision making beyond highways, not just for roadway construction and operational improvements, but to prioritize actions to achieve positive results in overall system performance. With what we stand to learn from measuring congestion through reliability data, the public sector can make more informed planning and investment decisions for alternatives such as pedestrian and bike facilities, transit, rail, ferry, and marine highway projects. The proposed regulation also invites comment on the potential to establish a performance measure to address reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. 
Alternative transportation? Pollution? Reliable data? What have these guys been smoking?

The Arkansas Highway Department knows all it needs to know about measuring traffic. If you observe a few minutes of congestion at rush hour,  you widen freeways. Then  when that brings more traffic, you widen then some more. And then you widen them some more. Emissions? Smells like money.

God help us if an SUV-driver commuting from Cabot to Little Rock should spend an extra three minutes at rush hour on the Interstate 30 freeway fleeing Little Rock. Just ask City Director Lance Hines, who's looking out for Little Rock residents' issues on such matters. He can explain how a monumental swath of concrete through the heart of a redeveloping downtown is really GOOD for us.

By the way, the city Board is scheduled to hear Tuesday afternoon from Nelson/Nygaard, a planning fired contracted to look at the I-30 widening project downtown in the context of urban planing.

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