LOS ANGELES (CBS) — The Southland is notorious for its brutal traffic, but researchers say the gridlock is literally wasting our life — along with our cash.

The Texas Transportation Institute’s “2010 Urban Mobility Report,” a compendium of statistics covering travel trends and costs in 439 urban locations across the country, say Los Angeles-area commuters spent half-a-billion hours stuck in traffic in 2009.

KNX 1070’s Bill Cooper reports few drivers are surprised by the study’s findings.

According to the study, the average L.A. commuter wasted about 63 hours battling gridlock in 2009, consuming an additional 50 gallons of gas, leading to $1,464 in higher fuel expenses.

Only motorists in the Chicago and Washington, D.C., areas lost more time — 70 hours — in traffic, according to the report.

Researchers behind the study say figures for 2010 will likely be more harrowing.

According to the report, on a national level, congestion costs added up to $115 billion, and the total amount of wasted fuel — 3.9 billion gallons — equaled 130 days of flow from the Alaska Pipeline.

“There is no rigid prescription — no `best way’ — to address congestion problems,” said Texas Transportation Institute researcher Tim Lomax. “Each region must identify the projects, programs and policies that achieve goals, solve problems and capitalize on opportunities.”


Visit the Texas Transportation Institute website
for the full report.

(©2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

Comments (8)
  1. nathan harris says:

    Let’s see, 50 gallons of gas, $1,464 dollars, that is $29.28 per gallon. I know that prices are going up, but not that high. Do the math, something is wrong here.

    1. krg says:

      they probably also have a figure in there that covers time lost as well. Some hourly avg amt for the 63 hours.

  2. Will Campbell says:

    In 2009 and 2010 I kept 12,000 commuting miles off my truck’s odometer by ridiing my bike to and from my home in Silver Lake to my office in Westchester in large part because I enjoyed doing so but also because on a typical gridlocked day it only took me about 15 more minutes to get from one point to the other by bike instead of my truck. On top of that I saved close to $1,800 in fuel costs and got a nice workout coming and going. It’s easy to dismiss such an option, but it was far easier and more satisfying for me not to.

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