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Philadelphia Region Is Nation's 9th Most Congested, Researchers Say

By Mark Abrams

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Philadelphia remains the ninth most congested region in the country when it comes to traffic.

The annual survey compiled by Texas A&M's Transportation Institute finds the Philadelphia area's position unchanged from the previous year.

Gene Blaum, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, says that because the region is a popular place in which to live, it follows naturally that traffic volumes would remain high.

Still, Blaum says, Penndot is using technology to help manage the congestion.

"Through the use of dynamic message signs, travel time displays, (and) closed-circuit TV cameras, (we) provide citizens with travel information they can use to make smart travel decisions," he said today.

In addition, Blaum says, construction projects -- along Interstate 95 to add travel lanes between the Vine Street Expressway and Cottman Avenue in the coming months, and the recent opening of the Route 202 Parkway traversing Bucks and Montgomery counties (related story) -- are helping to reduce congestion.

Blaum says the report serves a valuable role in illustrating "the need for Pennsylvania to increase its investment in transportation funding, so critical infrastructure improvements can be made in future years to improve travel, safety, and to reduce congestion."

The Washington, DC area held onto the #1 position for traffic congestion in Texas A&M's survey.

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