No Sleep Til Brooklyn


On the heels of New Jersey outlawing driving while drowsy, researchers at Texas A&M release a study showing that traffic congestion is mostly getting worse around the country.

Reports the AP:

If it seems like more of your time is spent stuck in traffic, you may be right. In cities large and small, the daily struggle with bumper-to-bumper traffic is getting worse.

The average rush-hour driver wasted more than two full days ? about 51 hours ? sitting in traffic in 2001, according to an annual report released Tuesday by the Texas Transportation Institute at Texas A&M University. That's an increase of four hours in the last five years.

The price tag: $69.5 billion in wasted time and gas, said the study, which looked at 75 urban areas.

"Congestion extends to more time of the day, more roads, affects more of the travel and creates more extra travel time than in the past," the study said.

The report found that the average rush-hour driver in Los Angeles spent about 90 hours waiting in traffic in 2001, far more than anywhere else.

The San Francisco-Oakland area was next at 68 hours, followed by Denver (64), Miami (63) and Chicago and Phoenix, which tied for fifth (61).

Was it only earlier this year that the Census reported commutes were getting shorter?

Whatever the truth of the matter, one of the new study's main recommendations–build more roads–is also one of the more controversial (and obvious) solutions. Why? Check out this 1999 Reason story on urban planning for the deep politics of the issue.