The Commute

An informative and entertaining discussion on our ferries and highways with Kitsap Sun reporters.
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Congestion Caused By Too Many Cars on the Road. Duh

April 23rd, 2008 by ed friedrich

From the AP wire Wednesday comes this story about the cost of people sitting in traffic. It says too many cars caused 40 percent of congestion, bad weather 15 percent and construction 10 percent. I wonder what’s responsible for the other 35 percent.

Washington highway delays cost $624 million in ’06
OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — The state Transportation Department estimates that delayed traffic on Washington highways in 2006 had an economic cost of $624 million.
A report released Tuesday says 40 percent of the congestion was caused by too many cars on too little road. Bad weather accounted for 15 percent and construction for 10 percent.
The department also reported:
Since 1980, the number of licensed drivers has risen by 76 percent, and miles traveled on state highways increased 110 percent.
In the same period, the lane miles of state highways grew 10 percent.
The state is in the midst of its biggest road-construction boom but struggling to contain costs as the price of materials increases.

3 Responses to “Congestion Caused By Too Many Cars on the Road. Duh”

  1. cynic Says:

    Forget the price of materials. The big factor is the price of labor! The state requires contractors to pay “prevailing wage”. This amount which is calculated by the state with input from the labor unions usually exceeds union scale. The prevailing wage law adds millions to the cost of state highways.

  2. NoSpin Says:

    Cynic,

    Would you care to take a job working outdoors in this state for less-than-prevailing wage?

    I have a hard time imagining finding ANYONE willing to do that, especially when the unemployment rate is near an all-time low in this state.

    But I suppose we could always get some ‘illegals’ to do the work on the cheap, and without any pesky benefits like health care…

  3. Rob Says:

    Spoken like a man that doesn’t know the rising cost of materials. Material cost escalation play a major role in budget problems nationwide on all kinds of projects.