When it comes to getting stuck in traffic on the way to and from work, Los Angeles leads the world. Drivers in the region spent 104 hours each driving in congestion during peak travel periods last year—more than any other city in the world. That topped second-place Moscow at 91 hours and third-place New York at 89, according to a traffic scorecard compiled by Inrix, a transportation analytics firm.
The INRIX 2016 Global Traffic Scorecard is the largest study of its kind. The group analyzed and ranked the impact of traffic congestion in 1,064 cities across 38 countries and 5 continents. 240 U.S. cities were studied and Los Angeles, notorious for it’s gridlock, ranked first not only in North America, but also globally.
U.S. cities dominated the top 10 most congested cities globally, with Los Angeles (first), New York (third), San Francisco (fourth), Atlanta (eighth) and Miami (10th). U.S. drivers averaged 42 hours per year in traffic during peak times. Being stuck in traffic cost the average U.S. driver $1,400 last year and nearly $300 billion for all drivers nationwide, Inrix said.
Population and economic growth alongside continued urbanization are the root causes of congestion, says the report. The problem is an economic drain to drivers and cities alike. Inrix analysis found that traffic congestion is costing drivers in Los Angeles $2,408 each and the city as a whole $9.6 billion from direct and indirect costs. Direct costs relate to the value of fuel and time wasted, and indirect costs refer to freight and business fees from company vehicles idling in traffic, which are passed on to households through higher prices.
“Congestion costs our country hundreds of billions of dollars, threatens future economic growth and lowers our quality of life,” said Bob Pishue, senior economist at INRIX. It’s not likely to get better any time soon. “The demand for driving is expected to continue to rise, while the supply of roadway will remain flat,” he said. Pishue suggests that governments use traffic data and technology to make traffic move more smoothly while they consider the big picture of funding infrastructure improvements.
Source: Los Angeles Times