The Texas A&M Transportation
Institute released its annual study of national driving patterns on Tuesday.
It says that traffic congestion
is costing the nation's commuters $121 billion in wasted time and fuel. For the Cincinnati area, that
number is $947 million.
To break it down further, for the
average Cincinnatian, that's $800 a year.
"As people say, 'Time is
money.' So if you're late getting to work, late getting to a doctor's
appointment, that impacts people's lives," explained Sharon Smigielski, Public Information Officer at the Ohio Department of Transportation, District
As you hit the brakes on your
commute, or sit idling in traffic watching the clock, how much money are you
"Well, if I just put a gas
mileage dollar amount on it, nothing more than that, I would say my gas mile
drops from probably the 40 mpg range to the 20 mpg range," said Brian
Cunningham, a Cincinnati commuter. "Maybe 30 bucks a week? Probably something
Cunningham has been keeping track
of ways to reduce his commute for a work project. He says his commute from the
Kings Island area can range anywhere from 30 to 50 minutes.
"It all depends," said
Cunningham. "It all comes down to whether or not you hit a flow of traffic.
That's really what it comes down to."
Interstate 75's expansion project
is one way the Ohio Department of Transportation is trying to eliminate
congestion on Cincinnati roadways, but safety is also key to prevent accidents
from causing additional delays.
"We know that and we try to
address that issue and again, help people get to where they need to be more
quickly and more smoothly," added Smigielski.
For commuters who travel from
northern Kentucky, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet claims that expanding
the I-75 corridor, specifically the Brent Spence Bridge, would reduce traffic
delays by 80% and wasted fuel by more than 75%.