Traffic and congestion have been worsening in American cities for decades.
The average American driver lost 51 hours and $869 in valued time by sitting in traffic in 2022, a 54% jump from the previous year, according to a report by INRIX, a global traffic tracker.
In 2019, before the pandemic, traffic snarls cost the average American nearly 100 hours and nearly $1,400.
Highway traffic eased through 2020 and 2021, during the worst of the pandemic, but now it’s back. What’s more, the post-Covid world might be presenting new challenges, such as an increase in traffic in the suburbs, with changing driving patterns of hybrid workers.
What to do about it has divided opinion across the country. Some experts say cities need more of everything: widened roads, more public transit, and better urban design and planning. Widening roads alone is a commonly proposed fix, but experts say it’s only part of the solution.
Some economists, for example, argue that congestion pricing is the only way to reduce traffic. But that route is politically controversial.
Although experts say it has been successfully implemented in cities like London and Singapore, it has encountered some resistance in American population centers like New York City.
Watch the video to learn more.