Why Climate Change is About to Make Your Bad Commute Worse

Reprinted from The Washington Post

Something remarkable happened on American roadways during the early days of the coronavirus pandemic: In even the most congested cities, traffic started moving again. With Americans staying home, cars suddenly rolled over highways like water through a freshly unclogged pipe. By mid-April, traffic had fallen to just 52 percent of pre-pandemic levels, according to traffic research firm INRIX.

But the reprieve was short-lived. As states and cities reopened their economies, drivers restarted their vehicles. By late June, INRIX reported, travel nationwide had already reached pre-pandemic levels, and in many states traffic was actually exceeding those levels.That’s bad news for motorists, who lost an average of 99 hours to congestion in 2019 — two hours more than just two years prior.

Read the full story in The Washington Post.

"Creativity and adaptability are essential. Along its 18-mile stretch of Interstate 85, the Ray tests new infrastructure solutions that deliver cost savings, performance improvements and climate resilience. Two that show particular promise are roadside vegetation and rubber-modified asphalt. The former fills vacant roadside land with perennial grains whose deep roots retain water and hold soil against storm water flooding. The latter, made with recycled tires, are rutting- and crack-resistant, which increases road durability and extends the life of the pavement by up to 30 percent or more."  

 

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