No, Seriously, Says A&M Transpo Report, Dallas-Area Traffic's Not as Bad As It Used to Be

Could have sworn we just saw an Annual Urban Mobility Report from the Texas Transportation Institute at Texas A&M -- like, eight months ago. Maybe the Aggies couldn't wait any longer to bring the good news: Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington drivers no longer waste 48 hours behind the wheel annually, stuck on a congested road to nowhere. Nope -- that number's dropped to a mere 45 hours, which puts us 10th on the list of major metros idling away 22 gallons of gas we'd otherwise use, ya know, driving -- right between Boston and Seattle, neither of whom appear to have teams interested in playing post-season baseball.

For those interested in a brief history lesson, this is an awfully big jump from the first mobility report we looked at in '07, when we were wasting 58 hours stuck in traffic. But the latest study says this is but a temporary respite from gridlock: If and when the economy rebounds, it says:

The average commuter is estimated to see an additional 3 hours of delay by 2015 and 7 hours by 2020. By 2015, the cost of gridlock will rise from $101 billion to $133 billion -- more than $900 for every commuter, and the amount of wasted fuel will jump from 1.9 billion gallons to 2.5 billion gallons -- enough to fill more than 275,000 gasoline tanker trucks.
Here's all the D-FW-A data, which dates back to 1999. Says our rush hour's now five hours long -- as opposed to the six of just a few years back, for instance.