BUMPER TO BUMPER

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A report released in June by the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) reveals that the congestion problem on America's urban roads is reaching a crisis point. In fact, in the 75 metro areas studied, the average amount of time roadways were congested to the point that they slowed traffic increased to roughly 8 hours a day in 2000, up from just 4.5 hours a day in 1982. Los Angeles has the longest “rush hour� in the nation, with 10.8 hours of congested traffic in an average day. San Francisco has the second worst problem, with 9.8 hours of daily congestion, followed by Atlanta, Chicago, San Diego and Washington, D.C., each of which has 9.6 hours of congestion for drivers to brave each and every day. Looking for a more tolerable commute? Head south to Corpus Christi, Texas, or north to Anchorage, Alaska, where traffic is a problem just 1.4 hours a day.

SLOW GOING

Portland, Ore., leads the way with the greatest increase in traffic congestion over the past two decades. In 2000, roads in Portland were congested 9.1 hours a day, compared with just 2.2 hours in 1982.

HOURS OF CONGESTED TRAVEL DAILY INCREASE, HOURS
METRO AREA 1982 1994 2000 1982-2000
Portland-Vancouver, OR-WA 2.2 7.7 9.1 6.9
Atlanta, GA 2.9 7.0 9.6 6.7
Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN 1.7 5.8 8.4 6.7
Indianapolis, IN 1.2 6.5 7.7 6.5
San Diego, CA 3.4 8.6 9.6 6.2
San Bernardino-Riverside, CA 2.6 7.2 8.6 6.0
Sacramento, CA 2.9 7.9 8.9 6.0
Tacoma, WA 1.7 7.0 7.4 5.7
Cincinnati, OH-KY 1.9 5.8 7.4 5.5
Albuquerque, NM 1.4 5.3 6.7 5.3
Las Vegas, NV 2.4 7.4 7.7 5.3
Boston, MA 3.8 8.2 9.1 5.3
Denver, CO 3.8 6.7 9.1 5.3
Source: Texas Transportation Institute, 2002
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