Boise commuters spend 16 hours a year stuck in traffic

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) -- Benjamin Franklin once said lost time is never found.

And the average American commuter is losing 38 hours a year stuck in traffic.

That's according to a new study by Texas A & M.

In Boise, commuters only languish for 16 hours each year in traffic.

But that's two full workdays!

"My commute is not too bad, but I definitely say I spend at least two days a year in traffic," said Katherine Bailey of Boise. "But I'm also originally from California so it's a little better here than there."

She's right.

Take Los Angeles...please!

It's the second-most-congested city in America where commuters squander 61 hours a year stuck in traffic.

The most-congested city in America is the nation's capital, Washington, D.C., where commuters forfeit a whopping 67 hours of their lives each year just eye-balling car bumpers.

That makes our local commute much easier to swallow.


Your wait time also depends on where you're stuck.

We did some research and found the Eagle and Fairview intersection is the busiest spot in the state. During the peak hour, it's carrying 6,300 vehicles.

The second busiest place is Front and Ninth in downtown Boise with about 100 fewer vehicles.

Rounding out the top three: Franklin and Milwaukee near the mall with 5,630 cars during the peak hour.

Traffic congestion has its price. In 2011, it cost the country some $121 billion, and that's up $1 billion from the year before.

That's money lost in wasted work hours and fuel, among other things.

Idahoans lose $16.79 for every hour they're idling in traffic.

Add that up for the entire year and that puts your annual tab at nearly $270.

And the congestion also releases billions of pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. So what's the solution?

Well, it would help if more people used public transportation...or even rode a bike to work. However, we know that's not always possible.

But there is some encouraging news. The 38 hours American commuters are wasting in traffic has declined since its peak in 2005 when the average commuter sat 43 hours a year in traffic jams.

Maybe that's something to think about the next time you find yourself going nowhere.