Photo: Sakeeb Sabakka/Flickr
Inrix’s latest traffic scorecard is out, and unsurprisingly, New York City makes an appearance on the global software and data company’s list as one of the worst places for drivers in the Unites States.
It comes in fifth, behind Los Angeles, DC, San Francisco and Houston, on Inrix’s list of most time wasted in traffic during the 2015 calendar year.
In fact, it estimates that New York City drivers waste 73 hours every year, due to traffic-related issues.
Outdated city infrastructure and public transit gaps are exacerbated by the city’s population growth, declining gas prices nationally and higher employment rates. Private sector employment in New York City actually rose three percent last year, with every sector adding jobs for the 12 months through January 2016. The current unemployment rate is just over five percent.
New York officials are not blind to the city’s traffic problems. In November, NYC Council Transportation Chairman Ydanis Rodriguez detailed an ambitious plan to take 400,000 cars off the road by 2030. Plans include strengthening public transit, adding bike lanes, toll reform and public awareness campaigns.
Some of these plans are already in motion. This Earth Day, New York City is planning to go “car-free”. Eventually officials hope that the entire city will be absent of cars on Earth Day, but this year three areas of the city will shut down to car traffic. These areas include the streets surrounding Washington Square Park, Broadway between Union Square and the Flatiron Building and four blocks on Wadsworth Avenue in Washington Heights. The goal is for the car-free effort to spur discussion about long-term investment in transportation infrastructure.
On a national level, the Inrix study also revealed that the United States is the world leader in congestion, with a national average of 50 hours wasted per commuter annually. For perspective, the United Kingdom’s average is 30 and France’s average is 28.