The Washington Post

New report says Washington has the worst traffic congestion

The annual Urban Mobility Report confirmed what many Washington drivers suspect: This region has the worst traffic congestion in the country. The report comes from the Texas Transportation Institute, a research group at Texas A&M University, and it doesn’t paint a particularly pretty picture: The average automobile commuter is delayed 74 hours each year, which burns through 37 gallons of gasoline and costs each commuter $1,495 dollars.

At least one analysis takes issue with this report: The group CEOs for Cities suggests that the congestion report is flawed because it doesn’t account for travel distances; as a result, the report doesn’t factor in the impact of increased travel distances due to urban sprawl.

Dr. Gridlock wrote about the Urban Mobility Report and the response from CEOs for Cities earlier this year. He also reached out to commuters to ask how they measured their commuting misery.

Readers noted that, among other things, time spent in the car isn’t as important as unpredictable stress factors (like the driver who cuts you off). They also reported that an overall measure doesn’t reflect the reality that some days and some commutes will simply be worse than others.

We’ll again put the question to you, commuters: Does the amount of time spent in traffic matter more than any other driving issue? Are there other factors that matter more than a few extra minutes in the car each day? And if you have commuted in any other areas, let us know — does Washington really feel that much worse?

Mark Berman is a reporter on the National staff. He runs Post Nation, a destination for breaking news and stories from around the country.


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