Study: traffic jams adding up to eight days lost work

| 6/25/2002

The average rush hour driver is losing the equivalent of more than one and a half weeks of work each year sitting in traffic, according to a recently released traffic study.

The annual Urban Mobility report from the Texas Transportation Institute shows that traffic delays in the nation's 75 largest urban areas have increased by 41 percent since 1990. On average, rush hour drivers are losing about 62 hours annually idling or crawling along - up from 16 hours in 1982.

The nation's most congested urban area is Los Angeles, at 136 hours. San Francisco is second with 92 hours, followed by Washington, DC (84 hours), Seattle (82 hours) and Houston (75 hours).

TTI researchers say there are solutions - more roadways and transit, ramp metering, HOV lanes, incentives to make trips at different times and better incident management (clearing accident scenes more quickly, etc.) - that can make a positive difference in addressing the problem. On the other hand, researchers admit that even if transportation officials do all the right things, the likely effect is that congestion will continue to grow, because not enough is being done.