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Average commuter in Baton Rouge wastes $1,262 each year sitting in traffic, report says

Baton Rouge area commuters waste 25 gallons of gas and $1,262 each year due to traffic congestion, according to a new CRISIS report released this morning.

The “State of the Region” report examines the condition of the Capital Region’s transportation system. CRISIS, a regional business-led coalition, hopes the report will serve as a launching point toward developing a Capital Region Mobility Strategy, an initiative to increase workforce mobility and transportation network resiliency in the Capital Region. 

The report includes research and analysis on five areas: infrastructure performance or the condition and effectiveness of existing roads, bridges, and transportation infrastructure; land use and urban form; resilience and preparedness or the mitigation of threats to critical infrastructure and emergency response; travel options; and regional competitiveness to attract and retain a competitive workforce.

Elected officials, practitioners and private industry representatives, surveyed during an Oct. 7 Strategic Mobility Forum, rated the region’s infrastructure performance and travel options as “poor.” However, elected officials were much more likely to deem the region’s land use performance “acceptable.”

Similarly, private industry ranked the region’s resiliency and preparedness somewhat lower than other groups, and were more likely to describe the region’s competitiveness as “acceptable” or “good,” the report says.

Participants also said they’d like to see a new bridge built over the Mississippi River. The volume of traffic over the Interstate 10 bridge increased from 76,000 vehicles per day in 1998 to 106,000 per day in 2013, the report says. 

The report notes that a Texas A&M Transportation Institute report says Baton Rouge has the 11th worst road conditions in the country, with 38% of roads in poor condition compared to the national average of 28%. Poor road conditions cost local drives on average $705 in additional repairs and maintenance, the report says.

Clogged roads also mean that Baton Rouge drivers must plan approximately 28 minutes to complete a 10-minute trip, mainly to account for unpredictable road conditions. The response by local officials to transportation problems is helping, but the problem isn’t going away, the report says.

Congestion remains an issue in Baton Rouge, though some progress has been made with the implementation of the city-parish’s Green Light Plan for road improvements.

CRISIS says it will continue to collaborate with regional leaders and engage the public on the creation of the Capital Region Mobility Strategy, which is to be published next year.

Read the full report. 

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