Study: DC Has The Worst Traffic Congestion In The Country

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Commuters in the nation’s capital spend more time in traffic gridlock than drivers in any other city in the country.

Drivers in Washington, D.C., spent 82 hours sitting in traffic last year, well above the 63-hour average in other very large cities.

Those hours drivers spent sitting in traffic cost each of them around $1,800 in wasted time and fuel, according to the 2015 Urban Mobility Scorecard from the Texas A&M Transportation Institute. The average cost in large cities is about $1,400.

By comparison, drivers in Baltimore spent just 47 hours delayed in traffic last year at a cost of about $1,100 each.

Drivers in Los Angeles wasted 80 hours sitting in traffic, and to round out the top five; San Francisco spent 78 hours; New York, 74 hours; and San Jose, Calif., 67 hours.

All together, drivers in the United States wasted more than three billion gallons of gas and seven billion hours of their life sitting in their cars in 2014, according to the report. That wasted time and fuel cost Americans $160 billion, or roughly $960 per driver.

Congestion in America has gotten worse over the past four decades, according to the study’s author, Tim Lomax, and without an “all-hands-on-deck” intervention it is only going to get worse.

“Our growing traffic problem is too massive for any one entity to handle – state and local agencies can’t do it alone,” Lomax said in a statement accompanying the study. ““Businesses can give their employees more flexibility in where, when and how they work, individual workers can adjust their commuting patterns, and we can have better thinking when it comes to long-term land use planning.”

The congestion invoice for Americans has expolded in recent years. In 1982, extra time and fuel cost commuters $42 billion. In 2014, commuters wasted $160 billion worth of time and fuel.

Without intervention, the report predicts conditions will continue to deteriorate, and by 2020 drivers could expect an annual delay of 47 hours at an extra cost of more than $30 billion.

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