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View Full Version : Oregon Live Headline: Portland commuters sit in traffic average of 38 hours per year


Attornatus_Oregonensis
09-18-2007, 02:23 PM
I love that this story is so beautifully wrong. It says "Portland-area commuters spend almost an entire workweek each year delayed by rush-hour congestion, according to a national study on traffic released today."

So, according to Oregon Live/the Boregonian/Dylan Rivera: commuting = driving. This failure to draw a distinction between the single-occupancy automobile commuter and other modes of commuting is pretty misleading. For example, I'll bet bike commuters don't spend 38 hours stuck in traffic each year. If you count the occasional delay getting onto the Hawthorne Bridge in downtown on my way to Sellwood, I'm guessing I spend about 20 minutes a year stuck in traffic.

How about you?


Here's the link:

http://blog.oregonlive.com/breakingnews/2007/09/portland_commuters_sit_in_traf.html

And the whole story:

Portland-area commuters spend almost an entire workweek each year delayed by rush-hour congestion, according to a national study on traffic released today.

The region's drivers spent 38 hours delayed by rush-hour traffic in 2005, the same as the national average for 437 urban areas that year, according to the Texas Transportation Institute, which did the study.

Traffic congestion in U.S. cities is getting worse, the study said. Urban dwellers spent 4.2 billion hours delayed in traffic, wasting 2.9 billion gallons of fuel, at a cost of $78.5 billion to the U.S. economy. That was an increase of 220 million hours, 140 million gallons and $5 billion compared with 2004.

In 2003, the study drew local ire when it ranked Portland-area traffic congestion as worse than the Seattle area. The report with data for 2005 rated the area's congestion delay significantly lower than the average for the nation's 85 biggest metro areas. The delay for motorists in those areas averaged 44 hours a year, compared with Portland's 38 hours.

Portland is the 25th-largest metro area by population but was No. 33 for congestion delay per traveler. The Los Angeles-Long Beach area ranked No. 1 in the nation, with 72 hours of delay per traveler. The Brownsville, Texas, and Spokane areas tied for 85th place, with eight hours of delay per traveler.

The study is regarded as an authoritative look at the nation's transportation system. U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary Peters said this morning that the report showed the government needs new ideas for tackling traffic.

"The daily frustration of drivers on our roadways is ample evidence that our current transportation model is broken, and that bold thinking and leadership are needed," she said. "We're never going to solve congestion with higher federal gas taxes or additional earmarks. Instead, we need fresh approaches like new technology, congestion pricing and greater private sector investment to get American moving again."

knary
09-19-2007, 08:16 AM
So, according to Oregon Live/the Boregonian/Dylan Rivera: commuting = driving. This failure to draw a distinction between the single-occupancy automobile commuter and other modes of commuting is pretty misleading. For example, I'll bet bike commuters don't spend 38 hours stuck in traffic each year. If you count the occasional delay getting onto the Hawthorne Bridge in downtown on my way to Sellwood, I'm guessing I spend about 20 minutes a year stuck in traffic.

But then depending on where you're going, riding the bike might take far longer to reach your destination when traffic isn't an issue.

I agree the article is lame.

Haven_kd7yct
09-19-2007, 09:13 AM
I thought the article was great, from a car-driver point of view... and then, when I was riding in to work this morning, I realized that most of my time spent stationary in traffic was because I was waiting for stop lights or the crosswalk. :) Everyone else was waiting for the cars in front of them to go, but not me! :)

But yes, it was lopsided towards the car/truck drivers. What else did you expect? It's the mainstream way of commuting. It's not realistic for Portland, but for the average commuter it is.

Attornatus_Oregonensis
09-19-2007, 10:08 AM
Yes, I have high expectations for the media. And I will continue to do so despite the fact that they are almost never met. I think we need to have those high expectations if things are ever going to improve.

beelnite
09-19-2007, 11:24 AM
Ha ha - Poor saps sitting in their cars.

Hey, we are never stuck in traffic!

Sidenote - related to SE Riders Post: Maybe we should encourage the "traffic feeling" a little more on places like the SWTrail and the Hawthorne Bridge.

What I mean is - if we somehow cultivate a mentality that if there are riders or peds ahead of you, they are not merely objects in your way to be aggressively passed, but rather part of "traffic". So instead of squeezing by at 30mph, ringing our silly bells or screaming "ON YOUR LEFT (A-HOLE)!!!" we would slow up a bit, check, and pass when reasonable and safe.

Just like those 'frustrated drivers' in their vehicles. We can treat the bike paths as single lane highways. Never pass on a solid yellow, use caution, etc... you know?

Just a thought.

hydrogeek
09-19-2007, 12:44 PM
of biking as an alternative means of commuting in the article either. Discussions on mass transit, peak hours, etc. But no bikes?

nuovorecord
09-19-2007, 03:18 PM
Ha ha - Poor saps sitting in their cars.

Hey, we are never stuck in traffic!

Sidenote - related to SE Riders Post: Maybe we should encourage the "traffic feeling" a little more on places like the SWTrail and the Hawthorne Bridge.

What I mean is - if we somehow cultivate a mentality that if there are riders or peds ahead of you, they are not merely objects in your way to be aggressively passed, but rather part of "traffic". So instead of squeezing by at 30mph, ringing our silly bells or screaming "ON YOUR LEFT (A-HOLE)!!!" we would slow up a bit, check, and pass when reasonable and safe.

Just like those 'frustrated drivers' in their vehicles. We can treat the bike paths as single lane highways. Never pass on a solid yellow, use caution, etc... you know?

Just a thought.

Hear, hear! We are achieving high enough levels of cyclists in certain places at certain times that some increased courtesy and sharing of the bike lane is warranted.