Urban Mobility Report, Texas Transportation Institute
- D. Schrank, T. Lomax, Turner S
background Traffic congestion has become a serious issue in metropolitan areas around the country. The annual cost of traffic congestion is estimated to be $115 billion, consisting of 4.8 billion lost hours and 3.9 billion gallons of fuel wasted.1 Congestion-related delays are progressively getting worse. Increasing congestion and delay not only has economic and environmental impacts but also has societal impact by affecting quality of life. In major urban areas, a large portion of the population spends more time commuting than vacationing. Dwindling public resources combined with environmental concerns and lack of opportunities to add new capacity in builtout urban areas have caused the transportation sector to shift its philosophy from “building out of congestion” to “more efficient operations of existing infrastructure.” Consequently, jurisdictions have been trying a host of active traffic management strategies aimed at enhancing operational efficiencies. Reversible lanes are a product of this trend. Reversible lanes on roadways allow transportation agencies to make better use of existing infrastructure by aligning the supply with the demand. This strategy allows agencies to cost-effectively accommodate the temporal changes in traffic patterns during the course of a day. The directional capacities of roadways are adjusted at different times of the day to adapt to changing traffic conditions using reversible lanes. Reversible lanes in an arterial environment can take many forms, from being certain directions during certain time periods to having different lane allocation during different time periods.