The Texas A&M University Transportation Institute has released a report saying that traffic congestion in the Twin Cities makes us waste 34 hours a year in the car than we otherwise would if there were substantially fewer traffic woes.
The Urban Mobility Report — available here — says the 34 hours of wasted time (unless you’re listening to something worth listening to on the radio, of course) is a little less than other cities.
But 34 hours? That’s a lot. Or is it? Obviously, it depends on your average commute. According to the report’s stress index, if you have a 20 minute commute when the roads are fine, it’ll be a 25 minute commute at peak traffic.
Assuming you drive in two different directions on your commute and you do so five days a week, you’re “losing” just under 4 minutes per trip, which — if that really bothers you — you could cut in half by leaving work 4 minutes early today.
The report also contains a Planning Time Index which shows a 20-minute commute in the Twin Cities could be about an hour, but that’s based on a ratio of uncongested freeways vs. the worst day of the month. And every day isn’t the worst day of the month.
The report also says one — a minor one, but still one — solution to the problem is to adjust one’s expectations. When people all want to get to the same spot at the same time, it’s going to take a little longer than when they don’t.