The future of traffic

On my way to work this morning, I listened in to an NPR segment about traffic and its future. Traffic is the worst– I can’t even begin to tell you how much I hate it. I’m the type of person that will wait three hours after rush-hour to venture out on to I-25. There’s nothing more annoying that trying to go somewhere and sitting gridlocked for 20 minutes.

Whether it’s an accident or just heavy afternoon congestion, traffic is just one of those everyday nuisances you have to learn to accept if you’re a commuter or even just buzzing around town during the busiest parts of the day.


Traffic slows to a crawl on the Monash Freeway...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

However, while I’m writing this, I’m reminding myself that I shouldn’t be complaining. Denver’s got it good; I don’t even want to think about L.A., NYC, or D.C because I’m sure it’s a nightmare.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, in an average year, people spend about 5.5 billion hours sitting in traffic. They equate that to be about $120 billion of lost time and cost. In an article from the NPR website it’s stated, “Over the next 30 years, we’re going to have 70 million more people in this country, and all of those people are going to be trying to get someplace on top of the number of people we already have.”

If that doesn’t give you a headache, I don’t know what will. 70 million more people? Are our roads, highways, and bridges even equipped to handle that? I’m guessing not… I always laugh at the 93.3 radio commercial that boasts I-70 as the best free parking in the state. The government is going to need to think long and hard about this upcoming problem because 30 years will come quickly.


Hallie Gardner can be reached at