Traffic congestion expected to worsen

Traffic often is stop and go along the area's interstates. (WTOP/Dave Dildine)

WASHINGTON – Congestion is a major problem across the metro area, and experts say if something isn’t done to alleviate the pressure, problems with traffic will get worse.

“Congestion is costing the average family of four in Fairfax County today over $500 a year,” says Leo J. Schefer, president of the Washington Airports Task Force, a group trying to solve the problem.

The task force will release a new report on traffic congestion Thursday.

While more people will use mass transit in the future, Schefer says by 2040, 77 percent of car trips in Fairfax County will remain in the county.

Schefer says the solution to traffic congestion lies with local roads. He says the region needs to improve egress into the system using major roads that are not part of the interstate system.

“Most population, by 2040, is going to be dependent on a road for their transportation, therefore, (if) we want to improve our energy efficiency and reduce our greenhouse gases, we’ve got to address congestion,” says Schefer.

The report to be released doesn’t offer suggestions on how to pay for road improvements.

WTOP’s Hank Silverberg contributed to this report. Follow Hank and WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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