Albany gets its share of traffic troubles - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Albany gets its share of traffic troubles

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September 19, 2007

Albany -- Traffic congestion has listed Atlanta as one of the most congested cities in America during peak travel periods.

This means commuters just three hours north of here spend nearly triple the amount of time in rush hours traffic each year, and hundreds of dollars more in annual fuel costs compared to cities like Albany.

Shortly after 6AM, traffic is already starting to pick up here along Westover Boulevard, and while several miles up the road in Atlanta, traffic is already bumper-bumper in many locations, commuters here in the Albany metro area don't have to deal with nearly as much traffic congestion as larger metroploitan areas. 

But according to some local drivers we spoke with, they say traffic here can be just as bad as that in a big city.

Afternoon drive traffic along Westover Boulevard in Albany can certainly get clogged up. But according to the latest traffic congestion study relased by the Texas Transportation Institute yesterday, the Albany metropolitan area fairs much better, by comparison, each year when it comes to time spent behind the wheel in traffic.

"Six lanes highways. Very congested, you cant get around fast," says Tampa native Katherinie Hudson, whose hometown ranked 20th in annual delay time, says the traffic in this area, can get just as hectic. 

"You got peole that get in the right lane, where its 65 mph and they only do about 45 to 55. So you gotta get in the slow to come around the expressway here. I leave from 2:00 in Baconton and takes me 45 minutes to get here. And you should take 15 to 20."

But the 2007 study reveals that large metropolitan commuters in cities like LA and Atlanta spend upwards of 60 hours a year in traffic during peak time travel periods. Compared to metropolitan areas like Albany who average around 20. With considerably less gas wasted during that time. But, those numbers still don t take away from the headaches. 

"Basically just the same thing. People are just impatient trying to get to where theyre going. They just got bad attitudes and it just takes longer to get to work," said Hudson.

And unfortunately for drivers everywhere, there doesn t seem to be a cure in sight for their traffic woes. Here are some more figures from the report that may or may not come as a shocking surprise.

Traffic congestion accounts for about 4.2 Billion lost hours and 2 .9 billion gallons of wasted fuel in American cities of all sizes.