The headline, "Commuters' wasted time in traffic costs $121B" flashed across my Comcast "news feed" today.The opening paragraphs of the article read, "The nation's commuters are adapting to increasing traffic congestion by building delays into their schedules, but at a cost of $121 billion in wasted time and fuel, according to an annual study of national driving patterns released Tuesday.
"The new report from the Texas A&M Transportation Institute found that Americans wasted an average of $818 each sitting in traffic in 2011. That also meant more carbon dioxide entering the atmosphere.
"The worst commute in the country? Washington. Commuters in the nation's capital needed almost three hours for a trip that should take 30 minutes without traffic, according to the report. That compares to the least congested city — Pensacola, Fla. — where commuters needed only nine extra minutes.
"On average, Americans allowed for an hour of driving time for a trip that would take 20 minutes without traffic. The total nationwide added up to 5.5 billion additional hours that Americans spent in their cars during 2011. . . "
That's a big surprise? Seriously? Where do these birdbrains live where they suddenly realize that Americans spend a good bit of their lives sitting in stalled traffic? This was old news in 1975.
We, of course, have a solution: motorcycles and lane-splitting. Move 10% of the daily commuters on to motorcycles and let them split lanes and keep moving and the bulk of the congestion problem goes away.
Of course, the problem is sort of fixed by the crashed economy. The worst year, so far, for congestion was 2005. Maybe the economy will just stay tanked and we'll all go back to walking from overpass to sewer tunnel. The brilliant researchers who pointed out this barely-known information said this all means the nation should think about "implementing transportation improvements to reduce congestion."
Dudes, we're here to help. Just let us.
Last year, traffic paralyzed Americans fired off 2.9 billion gallons of gasoline stuck in traffic. That's an improvement from 2005's 3.2 billion wasted gallons. More efficient, more mobile motorcycles could solve a lot of this problem, but I don't see it happening anytime soon.