Congestion times can add up to lost money

Do you know how much it costs to sit in traffic?

Texas A&M University researchers found it out, and last year city dwellers in much of Intermountain West wasted nearly $ 450 per person getting stuck in traffic last year – a relatively cheap figure compared to previous years .

In the university’s annual Urban Mobility Report, researchers calculated that every hour for the average American worker is worth about $ 20.17, based on the average hourly wage from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Take into account the cost of the fuel you burn while driving at a slower speed, which they estimated based on the state’s average cost per gallon of gasoline and diesel, and the cost may go up.

With traffic declining last year due to the pandemic-induced decline in travel and commuting, the average “cost of congestion” decreased by about half in most urban areas in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, and Utah.

“Trends were different at the regional level, but there were far more changes in each area than in any other reporting period,” the report said. “The level of congestion at the beginning of 2021 is at least a decade behind that of 2019.”

The 2021 report analyzed 101 urban areas either chosen based on more than half a million people or selected in previous reports, the university said.

Of these cities, New York City, New York, and Newark, New Jersey together had the highest cost of congestion per person in 2020 at over $ 1,300 per year, and Lancaster and Palmdale, California had the lowest at $ 216 per year.

Las Vegas and Henderson, Nevada saw the largest decrease in annual traffic congestion costs at Intermountain West, a 69% decrease in 2020 from 2019.

Provo and Orem, Utah were the cheapest places in the region to get stuck in traffic last year at $ 309, while the annual cost per person in Colorado Springs, Colorado was over $ 580 – the most expensive of the region to get into traffic in 2020. Provo-Orem and Boise, Idaho rank 97th and 95th, respectively, of the lowest cost of 101 areas.

This is how much it costs to be stuck in traffic in several intermountain urban areas:

K. Sophie Will is a contributor with Desert News. @ksophiewill

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