Local News

Triangle Rush-Hour Drivers Waste 27 Hours A Year In Traffic, Study Finds

Posted May 10, 2005 1:09 a.m. EDT

— The Triangle ranks near the middle in a national study of traffic problems, doing slightly worse in some areas since the last study.

The study by the Texas Transportation Institute looked at 85 metropolitan areas across the county and ranked them on various aspects of traffic. The Triangle ranked near the middle of the entire list -- at 43 for amount of delay for rush-hour travelers.

The ranking still means that a rush-hour traveler will waste about 27 hours a year in traffic.

The Triangle also ranked about average when compared with other medium-sized areas, said Tim Lomax, a research engineer with the institute.

Raleigh-specific data from the study

Charlotte-specific data from the study

Full study

"You're maybe a little more congested than your population size would indicate," Lomax said of the latest data, which is from 2003.

The Triangle ranks much better than Charlotte, which was second worst of the medium-sized cities. Charlotte rush-hour drivers waste 43 hours a year in traffic.

Elsewhere in the data for the Triangle, the study found that rush-hour drivers waste about 18 gallons of fuel per year while they are stuck in traffic.

Still, there is some good news: Even though the Triangle numbers have inched up from last year, the amount of wasted time in traffic is down from a peak in 2001 when the time wasted was 31 hours a year.