Study finds traffic costs Cincy commuters $947 million - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

STUDY: The cost of commuting in Cincinnati


The Texas A&M Transportation Institute released its annual study of national driving patterns on Tuesday.

It says that traffic congestion is costing the nation's commuters $121 billion in wasted time and fuel. For the Cincinnati area, that number is $947 million.

To break it down further, for the average Cincinnatian, that's $800 a year.

"As people say, 'Time is money.' So if you're late getting to work, late getting to a doctor's appointment, that impacts people's lives," explained Sharon Smigielski, Public Information Officer at the Ohio Department of Transportation, District 8.

As you hit the brakes on your commute, or sit idling in traffic watching the clock, how much money are you burning?

"Well, if I just put a gas mileage dollar amount on it, nothing more than that, I would say my gas mile drops from probably the 40 mpg range to the 20 mpg range," said Brian Cunningham, a Cincinnati commuter. "Maybe 30 bucks a week? Probably something like that."

Cunningham has been keeping track of ways to reduce his commute for a work project. He says his commute from the Kings Island area can range anywhere from 30 to 50 minutes.

"It all depends," said Cunningham. "It all comes down to whether or not you hit a flow of traffic. That's really what it comes down to."

Interstate 75's expansion project is one way the Ohio Department of Transportation is trying to eliminate congestion on Cincinnati roadways, but safety is also key to prevent accidents from causing additional delays.

"We know that and we try to address that issue and again, help people get to where they need to be more quickly and more smoothly," added Smigielski.

For commuters who travel from northern Kentucky, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet claims that expanding the I-75 corridor, specifically the Brent Spence Bridge, would reduce traffic delays by 80% and wasted fuel by more than 75%.

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