It should come as no shock, but Baton Rouge is ranked third-worst among mid-sized cities on the impact traffic congestions has on commuters, according to the latest Urban Mobility Report from Texas A&M Transportation Institute.
The 2019 Urban Mobility Report found that the average commuter in Baton Rouge spends 55 extra hours in traffic due to congestion annually, showing a substantial rise from 47 hours in 2015. TTI’s travel time index shows that a 20-minute trip during peak traffic times in the Baton Rouge area takes over 27 minutes. Baton Rouge also ranks third-worst among mid-sized cities for both excess fuel consumed per commuter, at 25 gallons per year, as well as for the amount of money that congestion costs the average commuter, $1,010 annually. For cities its size, Baton Rouge ranks sixth for freeway travel reliability with an added 28,362 hours in travel delays and 12,679 gallons in excess fuel.
“Congestion costs are continuing to increase, wasting massive amounts of fuel and time—$525 million in the Baton Rouge area to be exact,” says Hugh Raetzsch, president & CEO of Lyons Specialty Company in Port Allen and CRISIS vice chair, in a news release from CRISIS.
The report predicts a nationwide increase in congestion costs, delayed travel time, and excess fuel consumption, so Louisiana is not alone. However, while more than 30 states across the country have recently increased fuel or other taxes for expanded infrastructure investments that will mitigate these increases.
“This report only confirms the urgency for building a bypass around Baton Rouge,” says CRISIS Executive Director Scott Kirkpatrick. “We need a big, impactful project to attack these dismal rankings and a new south bridge is the right project .”