There was an article in the Dispatch last week that highlights the fact that commute times in Columbus are pretty average on a national level. But what the article downplays is that it’s gotten worse than it used to be, and I highly doubt we’re likely to see traffic improve anytime soon as we continue to sprawl outward. The population in Central Ohio is 1,725,570 today, and it’s projected to be 2,155,000 by the year 2030. It doesn’t take a math degree to figure out that an extra 430,000 people on the roads means that driving is going to suck more as the days roll by.
Seriously, just look at the chart that the article (below) provided. Driving in Central Ohio got 8 times worse in the last 23 years. We’re 23 years away from 2030. How much worse will it get?
Drive time is middle of the road
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
By Tim Doulin
Drivers here actually fared better than those in most cities of similar size.
The average central Ohio driver spent 33 hours delayed in traffic in 2005, an hour less than the year before, according to a study of 437 urban areas released yesterday by the Texas Transportation Institute. The institute studied delays above what it considered the normal travel time during “peak-period travel” of 6 to 9 a.m. and 4 to 7 p.m.
That ranked central Ohio 36th nationally, where the average was 38 hours.
Drivers here spent 27 hours on extra travel time in 1995 because of congestion. In 1982, the average motorist here had an annual delay of just four hours, ranking 66th nationally.