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New report ranks New York City fourth in the nation for traffic congestion

In vehicle traffic law news, the Texas A&M Transportation Institute recently released its annual report examining traffic congestion levels here in the United States, and ranking the ten cities in which motorists are most likely to find themselves sitting motionless during rush hour.

The researchers found that in 2011, the most recent year for which full data was available, commuters wasted a grand total of 2.9 billion gallons of gas due to traffic congestion and that the total cost of this congestion was $121 billion.

The 10 cities with the worst levels of congestion were found to be:

  1. Washington, D.C.
  2. Los Angeles
  3. San Francisco
  4. New York City
  5. Boston
  6. Houston
  7. Atlanta
  8. Chicago
  9. Philadelphia
  10. Seattle

As if this wasn't discouraging enough, the researchers predicted that these numbers could get progressively worse as more Americans are now returning to work thanks to improving economic conditions. In fact, they predicted that unless things change, the average driver here in the U.S. will waste an additional six gallons of gas and spend an extra seven hours stuck in traffic by 2020.

What measures do the researchers suggest would make a difference in reducing traffic congestion levels?

  • Keeping tow trucks and/or other service vehicles at the ready to help clear away freeway accidents and stalled vehicles as soon as possible
  • Utilizing metered on ramps to keep traffic flowing smoothly
  • Redesigning freeways to maximize capacity
  • Promoting mass transit use
  • Accepting flexible work schedules

"You should be able to call the boss and say 'Traffic's bad today, how about if I telecommute for now and come in two hours later?' " said Tim Lomax, one of the primary authors of the study. "And you need to take advantage of those options when they make sense for you. Don't just get stuck in the rut of 'I drive my car to work every day because that's just what I do.'"

Stay tuned for more our New York vehicle traffic law blog ...

If you have been issued a traffic citation, fight to keep your driving privileges and your insurance premiums as low as possible. Consider contacting an attorney who understands New York's confusing legal system, and who can help you evaluate your options and make the right decisions.

This post was provided for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice.

Sources:

The Washington Post, "Washington rated the worst for traffic congestion -- again," Ashley Halsey III, Feb. 4, 2013

Texas A&M Transportation Institute, "As traffic jams worsen, commuters allowing extra time for urgent trips," Feb. 5, 2013

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