America's Second City is now first in traffic congestion.

Recently, the Texas Transportation Institute named Chicago the nation's most congested city, booting perennial congestion king Los Angeles from the dreaded top slot.

And if you think gridlock is bad now, just wait. Turns out Chicago's official 25-year transportation plan will spend billions, but traffic congestion will get even worse.

Everyone knows that gridlock leads to wasted time and increased stress, but the effects of degraded mobility are worse than most people realize. Traffic congestion deprives job-seekers of opportunities, robs businesses of customers, and hastens the exodus of residents from the central city to the suburbs.

And although mounting gridlock may seem like the unavoidable result of increased population and strained budgets, the experience of nations from France to Australia proves otherwise. Reason Foundation draws on what's worked worldwide and recommends a three-part plan:

1. Expand roads with underground tunnels and elevated structures.
2. Use pricing to keep traffic flowing.
3. Pay for new projects with private-sector financing instead of taxes.

That plan can help Chicago or any other city bust congestion and boost economic growth.

Approximately 4.30 minutes

Written and produced by Ted Balaker. Field producer: Paul Detrick, Camera: Jim Epstein and Alex Manning.

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