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Research Shows Traffic Jams Costing Commuters Hundreds Of Dollars

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Few things frustrate commuters more than coming around a bend and seeing a long line of brake lights. And Pittsburgh has more than its fair share of constant hot spots.

Getting stuck in traffic is bad enough.

"If I come during peak times, and I have it down to like 6:15 is the drop dead hour, that if you aren't in your car by then, you are going to get in it," said Pat Lucas of McMurray.

Research released today by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute says those traffic tie-ups cost commuters in Pittsburgh an average of $826 in lost time and fuel in 2011.

In a previous study, the same company found the Parkway West is the worst bottleneck in Pittsburgh as traffic from Green Tree into town is a whopping 45 hours a week.

"Seems kind of low to me because I have burned $10 in gas on the Parkway before," says Richard Henderson, of Weirton, W. Va. "I know I burned $10 in gas because I was on empty, I put $10 in. By the time I got from the top of Green Tree to the Fort Pitt Tunnel, I was on empty again."

That is about middle of the pack for the survey done of nearly 500 major metropolitan areas.

The data comes from the traffic monitoring company INRIX. They examined information from GPS units on 875,000 miles of roads across the country.

"I have been traveling into the city my whole career the last 28 years," Eric Renner, of Sewickley, said. "Some days are good days, others days are not, but I guess I have gotten used to it and I don't really have any problems.

Pittsburgh comes in about $50 higher than the average of $780 for comparably-sized cities.

The survey suggests increased use of public transportation, tele-commuting and flex-time for workers as ways to get around the frustrations of sitting in traffic.

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