Despite high fuel prices and a tough economy, traffic congestion is getting worse. Chicago drivers spent more time and money in 2009 traffic jams than most cities in the U.S., according to the 2010 Urban Mobility Report released Thursday.
Chicago and Northwest Indiana drivers wasted an additional 70 hours in traffic and an average of $1,738 in gas costs, according to the report published by the Texas Transportation Institute at Texas A&M University.
Not that it's anything to brag about, but Chicago tied with the Washington, D.C. for the time drivers spent behind the wheel. Chicago's additional 70 hours of driving in 2009 was up from 64 hours in 2008.
"This year's report is a remarkable game changer," researcher David Schrank explained. "The new data address the biggest shortcoming of previous reports. The data show conditions for every day of the year and include the effect of weather problems, traffic crashes, special events, holidays, work zones and other factors directly impacting traffic flow."
A different report released by The Federal Highway Administration back in May 2010 determined the nation's top 100 most congested interchanges, and you guessed it, Chicago took the No. 1 and 2 spots.
The 2010 Urban Mobility Report looked at traffic congestion in the 439 U.S. urban areas. Overall, U.S. congestion costs reached $115 billion in 2009 and drivers wasted 3.9 billion gallons of fuel.