Report: Metro Traffic Congestion up 11 Percent in 2010

Hate sitting in traffic? Well, don’t expect that problem to go away any time soon. Studies show that traffic congestion is up in metro areas 11 percent.

Not even rising gas prices can stop us from getting in our cars and making that slow commute into work everyday. According to INRIX, a company that tracks traffic congestion, the USA’s 100 biggest metropolitan areas have increased by 11 percent in 2010 last year and things are only going to get worse. This is thanks in part to an improving economy.

“What we’re seeing is small job gains, big movements of people and near-record (freight) movement,” said Rick Schuman, public sector vice president at INRIX. “If that’s what happened with minimal job growth, what happens when the jobs really come back?”

The study shows that 70 of the US’s 100 largest metropolitan areas, which include New York City, San Francisco and Portland, Ore., saw increased congestion last year, and 41 reported congestion that exceeded levels reported in 2006. In 2007, traffic congestion peaked, showing a huge increase of 21% in miles driven from 1995 to 2007. And smaller cities weren’t immune to traffic snarls – smaller metropolitan areas such as Birmingham, Ala., Buffalo and Milwaukee exceeded their 2007 congestion levels, giving them the highest numbers on record.

[Source: USA Today]