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Denver Metro Area Drivers Spend 60+ Hours In Traffic Delays Each Year

DENVER (CBS4)- If you think the traffic around the Denver metro area is getting worse, a new report confirms it is. The Urban Mobility Scorecard, a study conducted by the University of Texas A&M Transportation Institute reveals congestion is a growing problem not just in Colorado but across the country.

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The study estimated the average commuter lost 54 hours to traffic delays a year. In Denver the delay is longer with the average at 61 hours. The Denver metro area ranked 20th highest in the nation. Los Angeles took the top spot with 119 hours.

Some drivers CBS4 talked to agree with the findings.

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"I'm coming up on three years living in Denver, I moved from the East Coast where DC and northern Virginia was pretty bad, but when I first moved here it wasn't noticeably different and now I think maybe now Denver is getting up there with the major cities," Becca Bicer said.

However, there is a slight silver lining from the gridlock, a spokesperson with AAA says it's a sign of a growing economy. Although the agency is known for its advocacy with motor travel, it says traffic can only improve if people change their habits, which includes using mass transit.

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"There's a variety of issues when it comes to traffic. Everybody that likes to say they hate traffic has to remember they are traffic. When we look at Colorado it really is mostly commuters when we see frustrated traffic patterns, it's funny that we have all of this technology today that could adjust our start times and yet we all go to work at the same time."

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Researchers concluded transportation authorities across the nation need to develop and fund strategies that can prevent further gridlock in the future.

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