Posted on February 5, 2013 at 8:01 AM
Tuesday, Feb 5 at 11:28 AM
AUSTIN -- A brand new study shows how much time Austin drivers spend stuck in traffic and how much money it's costing us to wait in those traffic jams.
According to the report:
- Austin drivers spent 44 hours stuck in traffic in 2011
- Nationwide, drivers spent 38 hours in traffic
- Austin drivers used 20 extra gallons in fuel because of traffic
- Nationwide, drivers used 19 additional gallons of fuel because of traffic
- The congestion cost Austin drivers $930 more a year
- Nationwide, drivers spent $818 more a year
Austin city leaders are working on ways to improve those numbers. The Austin Transportation Department began sifting through more than 300 ideas submitted to the City last year.
Recommendations include road signs to warn drivers of back-ups so that they can plan alternate routes, as well as adding more toll lanes.
The Urban Mobility Report agrees with such improvements, along with timing traffic lights and adding new streets or lanes.
More intensive solutions include new streets and highways and expanded public transportation. Some of the potential fix falls on employers. The study recommends flexible work hours to relieve rush hour jams.
However, before any substantial changes are made, the study predicts conditions will get worse. Two of the biggest factors in rush hour come down to population and employment growth, and both are expected to climb over the next seven years
The report predicts that national congestion costs will grow from $121 billion in 2011 to $199 billion in 2020 - with the average commuter spending $1,010 in 2020, wasting 45 hours and 25 gallons of gas sitting in traffic.