As the economy has started picking up, so has the congestion on our streets, a new study from Texas Transportation Institute at Texas A&M University has found. According to the study, our traffic levels are starting to resemble pre-recession levels nationally, forcing people to spend more money on gasoline, which is wasted while cars idle in traffic.
The 2010 Urban Mobility Report, found that the economic downturn and high gas prices led to fewer people driving, but we’re starting to see a strong resurgence. According to the report, “In 2009, congestion caused urban Americans to travel 4.8 billion hours more and to purchase an extra 3.9 billion gallons of fuel for a congestion cost of $115 billion.” Which means an average American spent an additional 34 hours in traffic in 2009 and paid about $808 for it.
Drivers in Chicago and Washington, D.C., the most affected cities, had it even worse. Commuters there spent an average of 70 hours stuck in traffic. To put that into perspective, commuters in Chicago lost $1,738, in delays while D.C. drivers wasted 57 gallons of gas.