Motorists Lose Close to 149 Hours Due to Congestions in Boston
Globally, motorists are increasingly bearing the brunt of congested roads and traffic jams. The repercussions of congestions are not limited to loss of time alone. It has an adverse impact on the already overburdened environment, health, and economy.
As the above map indicates, eight out of the ten most congested cities belong to the U.S. and Europe. But, Bogota and Rio de Janeiro lead this list in terms of the number of hours motorists lose to congestions.
The Environmental Cost:
The amount of research that has gone into the adverse effects of congestions on the environment is relatively minimal. The fact remains that people living close to freeways and corridors that are congestion-prone face the risk of acute health conditions. “Air pollution from traffic congestion in 83 of the nation’s largest urban areas contributes to more than 2,200 premature deaths annually,” says a study by Harvard.
The Economic Cost:
The most basic form of economic loss is the amount of time lost in the transportation of freight. This increases the operating cost and reduces the productivity of the driver. For instance, a truck carrying perishable goods when stuck in a gridlock can cause economic losses to the companies involved in the transaction.
As the above map suggests, motorists in Boston, Chicago, New York City, Philadelphia, Washington DC, and Los Angeles face over 100 hours lost in congestions. According to INRIX, hours lost in congestions are the total time lost in peak commute periods. The peak is the absolute worst part of the commute.
The Way Ahead:
According to INRIX, Singapore is one country that has managed to reduce congestion and its impact by aggressively implementing anti-congestion policies. This includes congestion tolls. Singapore began an Area Licensing Scheme way back in 1975, which ultimately made way to Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) in 1998. According to the ERP, charges vary according to location, time-of-day, and the type of the vehicle. It is adjusted every calendar quarter to keep the traffic free-flowing within the central business zone and to keep speeds on the central expressways within control.
In the U.S., New York became the first city to approve congestion pricing last year. The primary aim of this move was to decrease gridlocks and raise money to improve the poor-state of New York’s bus and subway services. Reports in July suggested that there was a delay in imposing this plan. The above-mentioned research also lists out the top ten corridors most prone to congestion in the U.S. Corridors in Los Angeles and New York City occupy four of the top five positions on this list. The I-5, US-101, Brooklyn Queens Expressway, I-95, and I-85/75 round up the top five corridors that are prone to the most number of congestions.
Statistics published by Nationwide Insurance also indicate that bottlenecks and bad weather are among the most probable causes of congestions in the major cities of the country.