Posting in Cities
A new report suggests that economic strains have led to significant drops in congestion across the U.S.' most populated cities.
Traffic congestion levels across the U.S. dropped 30 percent in 2011, according to a new report from INRIX, a transportation analytics platform.
According to the study, the first such global analysis of traffic congestion, 70 of the country's 100 most populated cities saw drops in traffic congestion.
The analysis attributes the decrease, the largest since 2008, to a slow economic recovery and increasing gas prices.
“The declines in traffic congestion across the U.S. and Europe are indicative of stalled economies worldwide,” said Bryan Mistele, INRIX president and chief executive officer. “In America, the economic recovery on Wall Street has not arrived on Main Street. Americans are driving less and spending less fueled by gas prices and a largely jobless recovery.”
The study's results suggest that economic concerns closely linked to driving. Those cities showing the largest drops in congestion were also the cities where gas prices were higher than the national average at their peak in April 2011 ($3.96), such as Los Angeles ($4.25), San Francisco ($4.25), and Honolulu ($4.48).
On the other hand, cities with employment growth exceeding the national average of 1.2 percent, such as Tampa (3.0 percent), Houston (3.2 percent), and Austin (2.1 percent), experienced the largest spikes in congestion.
Rest assured, however, there are still plenty of people stuck in traffic jams. According to the report, drivers idle for an average of 40 hours per year in the country's 10 most congested cities:
2. Los Angeles
3. San Francisco
4. New York
5. Bridgeport, CT
6. Washington, D.C.
May 23, 2012
You forgot to mention Atlanta. Metro Atlanta has one of the worst traffic congestion. Now the "leaders" want everyone to pay one cent tax to raise BILLIONS of dollars to "improve" upon this congestion by "repairing" and making "Certain" changes to the existing roads. They removed the HOV lanes on I-85 and made them into toll HOT lanes (against the loud protests of the people). Unfortunately the state government is awfully corrupted. There are no bike lanes, no mention of mass transit beyond basic minimum that was laid about 20 years ago. It is well known that our governor is not the smartest man on this planet. Atlanta has had a dramatic increase in the number of people moving to Georgia during the past 15 years. The roads have remained the same. The number of children developing childhood asthma has also increased in our state. I hope and pray people reject this "tax" and demand that the state government make plans for mass transit and car pooling. They will need to seriously think about abolishing the HOT lanes as they do not work.
...but mainly because my county has been already been paying that tax for decades. I don't see why I should pay even more now just so that other other counties can play catch-up. The HOT lanes are a fiasco, and still they are talking about extending them into downtown and up 75. It's absurd that I should be made to pay to use lanes that I already paid for. Perhaps with the exception of midtown/downtown, bike lanes are a pipe dream in Atlanta. Most of Atlanta is too hilly for most people to consider bicycles as viable transportation for any meaningful distance. Bicycles will never meaningfully compete with autos in Atlanta. Atlanta's problem is that they were >25 years behind the ball on planning for growth, and now it's too late. The development that has happened in the last 20 years makes building the roads needed impossible. What Atlanta needs is a truly regional transportation authority. MARTA needs to be purged and replaced by people who will run with the needs of their customers in mind, instead of the needs of the politicians and its own employees. (MARTA now shows complete contempt for its customers; I rarely use it anymore)