Traffic JamThe economy in America is much better than it has been in recent years. One of the biggest changes in the economy as of late is the plummeting prices of gasoline in recent months.

Gas prices had been exorbitantly high and had seen exponential growth over the last 10 years. This had led to more and more people choosing to take public transportation or carpooling instead of driving themselves to and from work.  This is positive for the environment, a move that is similar to recycling and reusing old cars.  As the gas prices have lowered, less people are doing this and there have been more cars on the road. This has led to the United States of America becoming the country with the most traffic in the world. Every action has an equal reaction and the improvement of the economy recent years have led to this increase in traffic in America.

Of course, The United States of America is a huge country and this problem can be more of an issue or less of an issue depending on where you live. In cities, already the most congested areas in the country when it comes to traffic, the congestion has become even worse as more and more people gain employment and need to travel to and from work every day. The problem of congestion is obviously less of a problem for those that live in less populated and more rural areas of the United States.

The Top 3 Most Congested Cities

The top 3 most congested cities may come as a surprise to some when they are listed. Some may assume that New York City is the most congested city in America. This is not true. Because New York has such a developed mass transit system. It’s not quite as bad as some other places. The worst three cities for traffic congestion in the US right now are Los Angeles, Washington D.C., and San Francisco.

On average Los Angeles drivers spend around 81 hours a year in traffic. That’s about two full work weeks. It is followed up by Washington D.C. and San Francisco who were tied at about 75 hours a year. If you are a driver that doesn’t like sitting in traffic you might want to avoid living in any of these three cities or it could be your worst nightmare. While New York isn’t the highest in the nation when it comes to traffic. It still rounds out the top 5 at about 73 hours a year in traffic just behind Houston at 74. You will notice the correlation between population density and traffic congestion.

The Public Transit Solution

This is a huge problem facing government officials in the coming years. What are they going to do in order to reduce the amount of traffic congestion in urban areas in the future? The most obvious answer is to develop and improve public transportation in these cities. Los Angeles especially could use an improved public transportation system. The current system they use can be very costly and doesn’t always run on time.

The Carpool Solution

Another way that traffic could be reduced is to encourage people to car pool to work and other shared locations. There are already some cities that reward drivers that travel in groups by creating car pool lanes where those drivers can drive in less traffic and get to their destinations more quickly. Other forms of transportation like riding bicycles on shorter trips are also being encouraged by urban areas through the invention of dedicated bike lanes in those areas. This is a practice that has already been used in Europe with some effectiveness.

There are some negative effects to the improving US economy. One of the most obvious is the increase in traffic congestion around the country in its more urban areas. There are some major steps being taken to help alleviate this problem. Some of the most obvious are dedicated lanes for bike riders and those that car pool. There are also concerted efforts in many growing cities to improve the public transportation system before the city grows too much and it is too late. It will be interesting to see if there are any unforeseen developments and inventions when it comes to the fight against traffic congestion in the US.