DETROIT (WWJ) – A new study from researchers at Texas A&M’s Transportation Institute finds that metro Detroit drivers spend 40 hours per year stuck in traffic, with traffic congestion.

We also burn about $18 extra in gas — and that, together with lost time — costs us an average of $859 per person, per year.

Motorists talking to WWJ Newsradio 950’s Mike Campbell say that sounds about right.

“I don’t doubt it. Between the traffic and the stop lights, that sometimes take forever, yeah,” said Jason St. Pierre of Holly, adding that he’d love to have some of that lost cash back to pay some bills.

One woman said she gets stuck in traffic almost every day, “Probably for just minutes because I get impatient and get off the freeway.”

The study also finds that commuters are adapting to traffic congestion by building delays into their daily schedules.

“We all understand that trips take longer in rush hour, but for really important appointments, we have to allow increasingly more time to ensure an on-time arrival,” says  Bill Eisele, a TTI researcher and report co-author of the Urban Mobility Report.  “As bad as traffic jams are, it’s even more frustrating that you can’t depend on traffic jams being consistent from day-to-day. This unreliable travel is costly for commuters and truck drivers moving goods.”

But, as bad as it is in metro Detroit, it could be worse.

Rankings of the nation’s most congested cities vary slightly from year to year, and many of this year’s top 10 are repeat performers: Washington, D.C. tops the list, followed by Los Angeles, San Francisco-Oakland, New York-Newark and Boston. The second five include Houston, Atlanta, Chicago, Philadelphia and Seattle.

Click here to view the complete study findings for the Detroit area. (.pdf format)


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