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Status of the Nation's Highways, Bridges, and Transit:
2002 Conditions and Performance Report

Chapter 2: System and Use Characteristics
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Index
Introduction
Highlights
Executive Summary
Part I: Description of Current System
Ch1: The Role of Highways and Transit
Ch2: System and Use Characteristics
Ch3: System Conditions
Ch4: Operational Performance
Ch5: Safety Performance
Ch6: Finance

Part II: Investment Performance Analyses
Ch7: Capital Investment Requirements
Ch8: Comparison of Spending and Investment Requirements
Ch9: Impacts of Investment
Ch10: Sensitivity Analysis

Part III: Bridges
Ch11: Federal Bridge Program Status of the Nation's Bridges

Part IV: Special Topics
Ch12: National Security
Ch13: Highway Transportation in Society
Ch14: The Importance of Public Transportation
Ch15: Macroeconomic Benefits of Highway Investment
Ch16: Pricing
Ch17: Transportation Asset Management
Ch18: Travel Model Improvement Program
Ch19: Air Quality
Ch20: Federal Safety Initiatives
Ch21: Operations Strategies
Ch22: Freight

Part V: Supplemental Analyses of System Components
Ch23: Interstate System
Ch24: National Highway System
Ch25: NHS Freight Connectors
Ch26: Highway-Rail Grade Crossings
Ch27: Transit Systems on Federal Lands

Appendices
Appendix A: Changes in Highway Investment Requirements Methodology
Appendix B: Bridge Investment/Performance Methodology
Appendix C: Transit Investment Condition and Investment Requirements Methodology
List of Contacts

Highway and Bridge System and Use Characteristics

System Characteristics

Highways and bridges are typically classified by either ownership or purpose, a distinction used in previous editions of the Conditions and Performance Report. Ownership can be determined by which jurisdiction has primary responsibility over a particular structure, while purpose and level of service are identified by the structure’s function. This chapter presents highway miles by jurisdiction and system and use characteristics by functional classification. It also adds a new dimension by examining the deployment of Intelligent Transportation Systems on highways and bridges.

Highways and Bridges by Ownership

Ownership is largely split among the Federal, State, and local governments. Roads and bridges owned by these governments are considered “public,” while structures owned privately are commonly considered “nonpublic.”

States own almost 20 percent of the Nation’s road system. The Federal Government has control over about 3 percent of the network, primarily in National parks and forests and on Indian reservations.

Over 77 percent of American roads are locally owned, although some intergovernmental agreements may authorize States to construct and maintain locally-owned highways. About 1,050 counties in the United States have at least 1 mile of public roads owned by the Federal Government. Most of these counties are in the Western United States. Apache County, Arizona, has the highest percentage of Federal ownership (80 percent), followed by California’s Siskiyou County and Montana’s Lincoln County (70 percent each).

As Exhibit 2-2 demonstrates, the share of locallyowned roads has grown steadily over the past decade. The share of local public road mileage increased from 75.7 to 77.4 percent between 1993 and 2000. During that same period, the share of State-owned public road mileage declined slightly, from 19.7 to 19.6 percent.

Highway Mileage by Owner, 1993 and 2000
Click here for text description of this exhibit.

The most dramatic change has been the decline in Federally-owned public road mileage. Between 1993 and 2000, the share of Federal road mileage plummeted from 4.6 to 3.0 percent. This is not a new trend. Federal road mileage reached a peak in 1984, when 7 percent of all public roads were owned by the Federal Government, and has steadily decreased over the past two decades. Much of the change has occurred as Federal land management agencies reclassified some of their mileage from public to non-public status.

Another trend is the increase in urban highway mileage. This is described in Exhibit 2-3, which shows that mileage in small urban areas grew by an average annual rate of 1 percent between 1993 and 2000. In larger urbanized areas with at least 50,000 residents, the growth rate was slightly smaller.

    
Exhibit 2-3

Highway Mileage by Owner and by Size of Area, Selected Years 1993-2000
 
  1993 1995 1997 1999 2000 ANNUAL RATE
OF CHANGE
2000/1993
Rural Areas (under 5,000 in population)
Federal
179,603
170,574
167,369
116,869
116,725
-6.0%
State
660,241
660,667
661,473
662,590
663,755
0.1%
Local
2,257,005
2,259,064
2,280,042
2,297,724
2,308,843
0.3%
Subtotal Rural
3,096,849
3,090,305
3,108,884
3,077,183
3,089,323
0.0%
Small Urban Areas (5,000-49,999 in population)
Federal
355
494
482
460
458
3.7%
State
27,160
27,442
27,455
27,490
27,596
0.2%
Local
136,537
139,825
143,847
146,468
148,094
1.2%
Subtotal Small Urban Areas
164,052
167,761
171,784
174,418
176,148
1.0%
Urbanized Areas (50,000 and over in population)
Federal
943
983
980
1,044
1,026
1.2%
State
80,747
83,016
83,429
83,811
83,943
0.6%
Local
566,121
574,319
587,427
593,484
597,836
0.8%
Subtotal Urbanized Areas
647,811
658,318
671,836
678,339
682,805
0.8%
Total Highway Miles
Federal
180,901
172,051
168,831
118,373
118,209
-5.9%
State
768,148
771,125
772,357
773,891
775,294
0.1%
Local
2,959,663
2,973,208
3,011,316
3,037,676
3,054,773
0.5%
Total
3,908,712
3,916,384
3,952,504
3,929,940
3,948,276
0.1%
Percent of Total Highway Miles
Federal
4.6%
4.4%
4.3%
3.0%
3.0%
 
State
19.7%
19.7%
19.5%
19.7%
19.6%
Local
75.7%
75.9%
76.2%
77.3%
77.4%
Total
100.0%
100.0%
100.0%
100.0%
100.0%
Source: Highway Performance Monitoring System.

Q.
If a government owns a highway, is it solely responsible for that facility?
A.
Not necessarily. Some roads owned by the Federal Government are maintained by State highway agencies. Additionally, the designation of a public road as a Federal-aid highway does not alter its ownership as a State or local road—it only means that its importance has made that road eligible for Federal-aid construction and rehabilitation funds.

Exhibits 2-4 and 2-5 describe highway bridges by owner. Most bridges in the United States are owned by State or local governments. Approximately 50.9 percent of all highway bridges are owned by counties and municipalities. A slightly smaller amount of all highway bridges, about 47.2 percent, are owned by State agencies. Only 1.4 percent of all bridges are owned by Federal agencies, mostly within the Department of the Interior, and 0.5 percent are owned privately or by other entities.

    
Exhibit 2-4

Bridges by Owner, 1996, 1998, and 2000
 
Owner
NUMBER OF BRIDGES
1996
1998
2000
Federal
6,171
7,448
8,221
State
273,198
273,897
277,106
Local
299,078
298,222
298,889
Private
2,378
2,278
2,299
Unknown/Unclassified
1,037
1,131
415
Total
581,862
582,976
586,930
Source: National Bridge Inventory.
Highway Bridges by Owner, 2000
Click here for text description of this exhibit.

Q.
How many highway bridges are owned by railroads?
A.
According to the National Bridge Inventory, private railroad companies owned 1,076 highway bridges in 2000. This represents 46.8 percent of all privately-owned highway bridges in the United States.

Highways and Bridges by Purpose

Another way to classify roads is by purpose, which is commonly measured by functional classification. The HFCS is the basic organization used for most of this report. Exhibit 2-6 describes the hierarchy of the HFCS.

Highway Functional Classification Hierarchy
Click here for text description of this exhibit.

Arterials provide the highest level of mobility, at the highest speed, for long and uninterrupted travel. Arterials typically have higher design standards than other roads. They often include multiple lanes and have some degree of access control.

The rural arterial network provides interstate and intercounty service so that all developed areas are within a reasonable distance of an arterial highway. This network is broken down into principal and minor routes, of which principal roads are more significant. Virtually all urban areas with more than 50,000 people, and most urban areas with more than 25,000 people, are connected by rural principal arterial highways. These are typically interrupted only because of unusual geographic or traffic conditions (for example, connections to international borders, coastal cities, waterports, and airports). The rural principal arterial network is divided into two subsystems, Interstate highways and other principal arterials.

In 2000, the rural principal arterial system accounted for about 3.3 percent of total miles in the United States. This small portion of highways carried 47.0 percent of rural travel and 18.8 percent of total travel in the United States. The other element of the rural arterial system, minor arterials, represented 3.5 percent of total U.S. miles. Minor arterials carried 15.7 percent of rural travel and 6.2 percent of total travel in the United States.

Similarly, in urban areas, the arterial system is divided into principal and minor arterials. The urban principal arterial system is the most important group; it includes Interstate highways, other freeways and expressways, and other principal arterials. The urban principal arterial system serves major metropolitan centers, corridors with the highest traffic volume, and those with the longest trip lengths. It carries most trips entering and leaving metropolitan areas, and provides continuity for all rural arterials that intercept urban boundaries. In 2000, the urban principal arterial system accounted for 1.8 percent of total miles in the United States; however, this network carried 58.4 percent of urban travel and 35.5 percent of total travel in the United States.

Urban minor arterial roads provide service for trips of moderate length and at a lower level of mobility. They connect with urban principal arterial roads and collector routes. In 2000, the urban minor arterial network represented 2.3 percent of total U.S. mileage. This system carried 19.3 percent of urban travel and 11.7 percent of total travel in the United States.

Collectors provide a lower degree of mobility than arterials. They are designed for travel at lower speeds and for shorter distances. For the most part, collectors are two-lane roads that collect and distribute travel from the arterial system.

The rural collector system is stratified into two subsystems: major and minor collectors. Major collectors serve larger towns not accessed by higher order roads, and important industrial or agricultural centers that generate significant traffic but are not served by arterials. Rural major collectors accounted for 11 percent of total U.S. miles in 2000. They carried 19.2 percent of rural traffic and 7.6 percent of total travel in the United States.

Rural minor collectors are typically spaced at intervals, consistent with population density, to collect traffic from local roads and to insure that all small urban areas are served by a collector road. The rural minor collector system accounted for 6.9 percent of total U.S. mileage in 2000. These roads carried 5.3 percent of rural travel and 2.1 percent of total travel in the United States.

In urban areas, the collector system provides traffic circulation within residential neighborhoods and commercial and industrial areas. Unlike arterials, collector roads may penetrate residential communities, distributing traffic from the arterials to the ultimate destination for many motorists. Urban collectors also channel traffic from local streets onto the arterial system. In 2000, the urban collector network accounted for 2.2 percent of U.S. road mileage. It carried 8.1 percent of urban travel and 4.9 percent of total U.S. travel.

Local roads represent the largest element in the American public road network in terms of mileage. For rural and urban areas, all public road mileage below the collector system is considered local. Local roads provide basic access between residential and commercial properties, connecting with higher order highways. In 2000, rural local roads represented 53.5 percent of total U.S. road mileage. Local roads carried only 11.1 percent of rural travel and 4.6 percent of total travel in the United States. Urban local roads, meanwhile, accounted for 15.3 percent of total U.S. road mileage, 14.1 percent of urban travel, and 8.5 percent of total U.S. travel.

Exhibit 2-7 summarizes the percentage of highway miles, lane miles, and vehicle-miles traveled by functional system. The share of mileage on rural highways has decreased slightly since 1997, dropping from 78.7 to 78.2 percent, a trend described earlier in Exhibit 2-3. The share of lane-miles on rural highways also decreased slightly, from 77.1 to 76.6 percent; however, the share of vehicle-miles traveled in rural areas actually grew, from 39.1 percent in 1997 to 39.4 percent in 2000.

    
Exhibit 2-7

Percentage of Highway Miles, Lane Miles, and Vehicle Miles Traveled by Functional System and by Size of Area, 2000
 
FUNCTIONAL SYSTEM
MILES
LANE-MILES
VEHICLE-MILES TRAVELED
Rural Areas (under 5,000 in population)
Interstate
0.8%
1.6%
9.8%
Other Principal Arterials
2.5%
3.1%
9.0%
Minor Arterial
3.5%
3.5%
6.2%
Major Collector
11.0%
10.6%
7.6%
Minor Collector
6.9%
6.6%
2.1%
Local
53.5%
51.3%
4.6%
Subtotal Rural
78.2%
76.6%
39.4%
Small Urban Areas (5,000-49,999 in population)
Interstate
0.0%
0.1%
0.8%
Other Freeway and Expressway
0.0%
0.1%
0.4%
Other Principal Arterial
0.3%
0.5%
2.1%
Minor Arterial
0.5%
0.5%
1.6%
Collector
0.5%
0.5%
0.7%
Local
3.0%
2.9%
1.2%
Subtotal Small Urban Area
4.5%
4.6%
6.7%
Urbanized Areas (50,000 and over in population)
Interstate
0.3%
0.8%
13.6%
Other Freeway and Expressway
0.2%
0.5%
6.1%
Other Principal Arterial
1.0%
1.8%
12.4%
Minor Arterial
1.8%
2.2%
10.3%
Collector
1.7%
1.8%
4.2%
Local
12.3%
11.7%
7.4%
Subtotal Urbanized Areas
17.3%
18.8%
53.9%
Total
100.0%
100.0%
100.0%
Source: Highway Performance Monitoring System.

The share of urban mileage increased slightly between 1997 and 2000, but the share of urban vehicle-miles traveled decreased during that same period. The share of urban highway mileage grew from 21.3 to 21.8 percent, and urban lane mileage increased from 22.9 to 23.4 percent. Although rural mileage is shrinking, travel continues to grow in rural areas.

Exhibit 2-8 offers some insight into total public road length in the United States. In 2000, there were over 3.9 million route miles in the United States. About 78.2 percent of this mileage was in rural communities, or 3.1 million route miles. The remaining 21.7 percent of route mileage, or 859,368 miles, was in urban communities. Overall route mileage increased by an average annual rate of about 0.1 percent between 1993 and 2000. Mileage decreased by 0.1 percent in rural America and increased by 1.8 percent in metropolitan communities.

    
Exhibit 2-8

Highway Route Miles by Functional System and by Size of Area, Selected Years 1993-2000
 
FUNCTIONAL SYSTEM 1993 1995 1997 1999 2000 ANNUAL RATE OF CHANGE 2000/1993
Rural Areas (under 5,000 in population)
Interstate
32,795
32,703
32,919
33,077
33,152
0.2%
Other Principal Arterial
97,127
98,039
98,358
98,936
99,015
0.3%
Minor Arterial
137,752
137,440
137,791
137,746
137,862
0.0%
Major Collector
432,993
432,492
433,500
433,733
433,927
0.0%
Minor Collector
282,853
274,750
273,043
272,346
272,488
-0.5%
Local
2,123,619
2,125,054
2,141,111
2,103,009
2,115,299
-0.1%
Subtotal Rural
3,107,139
3,100,478
3,116,722
3,078,847
3,091,743
-0.1%
Small Urban Areas (5,000-49,999 in population)
Interstate
1,694
1,731
1,744
1,777
1,794
0.8%
Other Freeway and Expressway
1,261
1,282
1,253
1,226
1,219
-0.5%
Other Principal Arterial
12,570
12,432
12,477
12,470
12,473
-0.1%
Minor Arterial
19,200
19,538
19,635
19,760
19,800
0.4%
Collector
20,973
21,301
21,338
21,436
21,535
0.4%
Local
108,440
111,566
115,420
117,768
119,342
1.4%
Subtotal Small Urban Areas
164,138
167,850
171,867
174,437
176,163
1.0%
Urbanized Areas (50,000 and over in population)
Interstate
11,313
11,569
11,651
11,709
11,729
0.5%
Other Freeway and Expressway
7,656
7,740
7,864
7,957
7,977
0.6%
Other Principal Arterial
40,434
40,622
40,993
40,973
41,084
0.2%
Minor Arterial
68,099
69,475
70,050
70,187
70,502
0.5%
Collector
64,407
66,623
67,312
67,166
67,263
0.6%
Local
456,134
462,537
474,044
480,741
484,650
0.9%
Subtotal Urbanized Areas
648,043
658,566
671,914
678,733
683,205
0.8%
Total Highway Route Miles
3,919,320
3,926,894
3,960,503
3,932,017
3,951,111
0.1%
Source: Highway Performance Monitoring System.

Exhibit 2-9 describes the number of highway lane-miles by functional system. In 2000, there were 8.3 million lane-miles in the United States. Lane-miles have grown at an average annual rate of about 0.2 percent since 1993, mostly in urban areas. In small urban areas with between 5,000 and 50,000 residents, for example, lane mileage grew by about 1.0 percent annually between 1993 and 2000, while rural lane mileage dropped by about 0.1 percent annually during that same period.

    
Exhibit 2-9

Highway Lane Miles by Functional System and by Size of Area, Selected Years 1993-2000
 
FUNCTIONAL SYSTEM
1993
1995
1997
1999
2000
ANNUAL RATE OF CHANGE 2000/1993
Rural Areas (under 5,000 in population)
Interstate
132,559
132,346
133,573
134,611
135,000
0.3%
Other Principal Arterial
240,714
245,164
248,921
252,692
253,192
0.7%
Minor Arterial
286,860
288,222
288,872
287,474
287,605
0.0%
Major Collector
873,988
872,767
875,393
872,205
872,647
0.0%
Minor Collector
565,705
549,500
546,085
544,692
544,976
-0.5%
Local
4,247,239
4,250,107
4,282,222
4,206,017
4,230,598
-0.1%
Subtotal Rural
6,347,065
6,338,106
6,375,066
6,297,691
6,324,018
-0.1%
Small Urban Areas (5,000-49,999 in population)
Interstate
7,141
7,269
7,365
7,526
7,626
0.9%
Other Freeway and Expressway
4,741
4,828
4,747
4,656
4,627
-0.3%
Other Principal Arterial
36,768
37,135
37,618
37,654
37,702
0.4%
Minor Arterial
42,937
44,390
44,982
44,776
45,208
0.7%
Collector
43,491
43,755
44,216
43,980
44,525
0.3%
Local
216,881
223,132
230,839
235,536
238,684
1.4%
Subtotal Small Urban Areas
351,959
360,509
369,767
374,128
378,372
1.0%
Urbanized Areas (50,000 and over in population)
Interstate
62,754
64,865
65,603
66,507
66,507
0.8%
Other Freeway and Expressway
34,864
35,705
36,655
37,113
37,113
0.9%
Other Principal Arterial
130,769
143,572
146,585
148,077
148,077
1.8%
Minor Arterial
176,130
183,595
185,273
180,434
180,434
0.3%
Collector
136,305
143,517
145,927
143,620
143,620
0.7%
Local
912,267
925,073
948,087
961,484
961,484
0.8%
Subtotal Urbanized Areas
1,453,089
1,496,327
1,528,130
1,537,235
1,537,235
0.8%
Total Highway Lane Miles
8,152,113
8,194,942
8,272,963
8,209,054
8,254,658
0.2%
Source: Highway Performance Monitoring System.

Q.
Is the increase in urban lane mileage entirely due to new construction?
A.
No. While some of the additional lane miles are attributable to new road construction and the widening of existing roads, a significant percentage is attributable to functional reclassification. As rural communities have grown above 5,000 in population, their existing roads have been reclassified as small urban mileage. The same situation has occurred as small urban areas have grown above 50,000 in population; their mileage has been reclassified as urbanized. While the current data available do not facilitate quantifying the share of urban mileage growth attributable to functional reclassification, this would be a promising area for future research.

Exhibit 2-10 describes the number of highway bridges by functional classification. Of the 587,146 highway bridges in the United States in 2000, 77.6 percent were in rural communities and 22.4 percent were in urban areas. The number of urban bridges—and those on arterial systems—grew steadily from 1996 to 2000. It is presumed that the number of urban bridges grew because of the reclassification of highways (and associated bridges) from a rural to urban designation.

    
Exhibit 2-10

Bridges by Functional System, 1996, 1998, and 2000
 
NUMBER OF BRIDGES
FUNCTIONAL SYSTEM 1996 1998 2000
Rural
Interstate
28,638
27,530
27,797
Other Arterial
72,970
73,324
74,796
Collector
144,246
143,140
143,357
Local
211,059
210,670
209,415
Subtotal Rural
456,913
454,664
455,365
Urban
Interstate
26,596
27,480
27,882
Other Arterial
59,064
60,901
63,177
Collector
14,848
14,962
15,038
Local
24,441
24,969
25,684
Subtotal Urban
124,949
128,312
131,781
Total
581,862
582,976
587,146
Source: National Bridge Inventory.

Information presented on bridge composition up to this point has examined ownership and functional classification by “counting” the number of bridges. Examining structures by numbers gives all bridges in the network equal priority. Thus, a small local bridge is counted the same way as either New York’s George Washington Bridge or San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge. That is why it may be desirable to consider the size of the structure, which is done using bridge deck area.

Exhibit 2-11 shows that despite the higher percentage of bridges in rural areas, more deck area is actually in urban communities (52.4 percent). Urban bridges tend to be larger and longer than rural bridges.

    
Exhibit 2-11

Percentage of Deck Area by Functional System, 1996, 1998, and 2000
 
FUNCTIONAL SYSTEM
1996
1998
2000
Rural
Interstate
8.8%
8.4%
8.2%
Other Arterial
15.2%
15.4%
15.7%
Collector
14.2%
13.9%
13.5%
Local
10.7%
10.7%
10.3%
Subtotal Rural
48.9%
48.3%
47.6%
Urban
Interstate
19.1%
19.5%
19.4%
Other Arterial
25.4%
25.7%
26.6%
Collector
3.1%
3.0%
2.8%
Local
3.5%
3.6%
3.6%
Subtotal Urban
51.1%
51.7%
52.4%
Bridge Total
100.0%
100.0%
100.0%
Source: National Bridge Inventory.

Intelligent Transportation System Characteristics

All of the previous exhibits represent a traditional look at the highway system—its mileage, ownership, functional classification, and use. This edition of the C&P report introduces a new measurement: the extent of ITS on the highway network. ITS use advanced technology to improve highway safety and efficiency. The deployment of ITS for national security, operations, and freight management is described more fully in subsequent chapters.

Exhibit 2-12 describes the deployment of ITS devices in 75 metropolitan regions, based on a survey by the FHWA Intelligent Transportation Systems Joint Program Office. More regions are using electronic tolling than any other ITS device (73 percent in 2000), followed by computer-aided emergency management vehicles (67 percent). While Intelligent Transportation Systems continue to grow in acceptance and use, the number of arterial miles covered by on-call service patrols remains low at 7 percent in 2000.

Deployment of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) in 75 Metropolitan Areas, 
  1997, 1999, and 2000
Click here for text description of this exhibit.

Use Characteristics

This section describes highway infrastructure use, which is typically defined by vehicle miles traveled (VMT). During the 1990s, Americans traveled at record levels, a phenomenon prompted by the booming economy, population growth, and other socioeconomic factors. VMT grew by an average annual rate of 2.7 percent between 1993 and 2000, and by the end of that period, Americans were traveling more than 2.7 trillion vehicle miles annually. About 1.1 trillion miles were on rural highways, and about 1.7 trillion were on urban roads. Exhibit 2-13 describes these statistics.

    
Exhibit 2-13

Vehicle Miles (VMT) and Passenger Miles of Travel (PMT), 1993-2000 (Millions of Miles)
 
FUNCTIONAL SYSTEM 1993 1995 1997 1999 2000 Annual Rate
of Change
2000/1993
Rural (under 5,000 in population)
Interstate
209,470
224,705
241,451
261,485
270,314
3.7%
Other Principal Arterial
203,149
215,988
229,133
244,469
249,138
3.0%
Minor Arterial
148,023
156,253
164,129
170,149
172,780
2.2%
Major Collector
185,611
194,420
202,588
207,721
210,498
1.8%
Minor Collector
48,579
50,386
52,538
58,140
58,571
2.7%
Local
102,948
105,819
111,959
125,939
128,331
3.2%
Subtotal Rural
897,779
947,571
1,001,798
1,067,904
1,089,632
2.8%
Small Urban Area (5,000-49,999 in population)
Interstate
16,297
17,310
18,393
20,485
21,138
3.8%
Other Freeway and Expressway
8,353
8,854
9,251
9,583
9,892
2.4%
Other Principal Arterial
51,088
53,202
55,359
57,351
58,147
1.9%
Minor Arterial
36,464
39,270
40,845
42,407
43,005
2.4%
Collector
17,282
18,710
19,749
20,135
20,412
2.4%
Local
25,919
27,970
28,309
32,907
33,277
3.6%
Subtotal Small Urban Area
155,403
165,317
171,906
182,868
185,871
2.6%
Urbanized Areas (50,000 and over in population)
Interstate
303,324
327,329
346,376
366,390
376,153
3.1%
Other Freeway and Expressway
132,344
141,980
151,231
162,839
168,214
3.5%
Other Principal Arterial
298,558
313,676
332,448
337,904
343,088
2.0%
Minor Arterial
236,815
251,470
263,296
273,955
283,854
2.6%
Collector
96,102
104,453
111,874
113,053
116,596
2.8%
Local
175,917
179,392
176,268
203,136
203,960
2.1%
Subtotal Urbanized Areas
1,243,060
1,318,300
1,381,495
1,457,278
1,491,864
2.6%
Total Highway Vehicle Miles
2,296,243
2,431,188
2,555,198
2,708,050
2,767,367
2.7%
Total Passenger Miles Traveled
3,858,920
3,868,070
4,089,366
4,304,270
4,394,703
1.9%
Source: Highway Performance Monitoring System.

While highway mileage is mostly rural, a majority of highway travel (61 percent) occurred in urban areas in 2000. Since 1997, however, rural travel has grown at a faster average annual rate (2.8 percent) than urban travel (2.6 percent). This is a change since the last C&P report, when urban travel growth rates were higher over the preceding decade.

Exhibits 2-14 and 2-15 expand on the information in Exhibit 2-13. They describe highway travel by functional classification and vehicle type. Three types of vehicles are identified: passenger vehicles (PV), including buses and 2-axle, 4-tire models; single-unit trucks (SU) having 6 or more tires; and combination trucks (Combo), including trailers and semi-trailers.

As Exhibits 2-14 and 2-15 show, travel grew the fastest on rural and urban interstates, particularly among combination trucks. Between 1993 and 2000, for example, combination truck traffic grew by 4.4 percent on rural interstates and 5.5 per year on urban interstates. Overall, passenger vehicle travel grew by an average annual rate of 2.4 percent between 1993 and 2002. Single-unit truck travel grew by 3.2 percent per year, and combination truck travel grew by 3.9 percent per year.

Highway Travel by Vehicle Type, 1993-2000
Click here for text description of this exhibit.

    
Exhibit 2-15

Highway Travel by System and Vehicle Type, 1993-2000 (Millions of VMT)
 
FUNCTIONAL SYSTEM VEHICLE TYPE
1993
1995
1997
1999
2000
ANNUAL RATE
OF CHANGE 2000/1993
Rural Interstate
PV
169,500
180,031
188,969
207,046
214,175
3.4%
SU
5,982
6,708
7,667
8,073
8,260
4.7%
Combo
32,826
36,644
41,642
42,976
44,377
4.4%
Other Arterials
PV
314,469
331,539
349,555
369,592
375,973
2.6%
SU
11,374
12,980
13,668
13,978
13,643
2.6%
Combo
23,724
24,076
25,467
26,713
28,003
2.4%
Other Rural
PV
304,389
315,687
338,590
359,785
365,170
2.6%
SU
12,505
12,948
13,671
13,965
13,759
1.4%
Combo
11,936
12,676
12,447
12,236
12,589
0.8%
Total Rural
PV
788,358
827,257
877,114
936,423
955,318
2.8%
SU
29,861
32,636
35,006
36,016
35,662
2.6%
Combo
68,486
73,396
79,556
81,925
84,969
3.1%
Urban Interstate
PV
294,703
315,888
330,668
348,531
358,906
2.9%
SU
6,513
7,148
7,906
8,494
8,719
4.3%
Combo
16,183
18,492
20,641
23,792
23,472
5.5%
Other Urban
PV
1,053,429
1,101,516
1,144,334
1,185,168
1,211,708
2.0%
SU
20,398
22,923
23,933
25,794
26,202
3.6%
Combo
18,446
23,567
24,303
26,667
26,767
5.5%
Total Urban
PV
1,348,132
1,417,404
1,475,002
1,533,699
1,570,614
2.2%
SU
26,911
30,071
31,839
34,288
34,921
3.8%
Combo
34,629
42,059
44,944
50,459
50,239
5.5%
Total
PV
2,136,490
2,244,661
2,352,116
2,470,122
2,525,932
2.4%
SU
56,772
62,707
66,845
70,304
70,583
3.2%
Combo
103,115
115,455
124,500
132,384
135,208
3.9%
PV=Passenger Vehicles (including buses and 2-axle, 4-tire vehicles,
SU=Single Unit Trucks (6 tires or more),
Combo=Combination Trucks (trailers and semi-trailers).
Source: Highway Statistics, Summary to 1995, Table VM-201; Highway Statistics, various years, Table VM-1.
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