It's Not You. Traffic Has Gotten Worse Since The Great Recession

Aug 26, 2015
Originally published on August 26, 2015 6:19 pm
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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And it's not you. The traffic is getting worse.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Yeah, up 5 percent since 2007 before the great recession. Tim Lomax is a research engineer at Texas A&M. He co-authored a new report about traffic delays in American cities.

TIM LOMAX: What we're looking at is the effect of the economic recession coming to an end - prosperity, more jobs, more people - and the transportation network hasn't expanded to keep up with that.

CORNISH: And it's not just commuters in cities like New York and San Francisco. Washington, with about 650,000 people, tops the list.

LOMAX: For the average D.C. auto-commuter, they're wasting 82 hours of extra travel time, so that's like two weeks of vacation.

SHAPIRO: And with those two weeks go some of the money that you could've been spending on mai tais on the beach.

LOMAX: They're also wasting 35 gallons of fuel. If you put a price tag on that, you wind up with a congestion tax, if you will, of $1,830.

CORNISH: Pretty rough for drivers around D.C. But, Ari, they're not the worst.

SHAPIRO: No. The worst stretch of highway is right where you would expect. It can take an hour and a half to go 26 miles on the 101 in Los Angeles. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.