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Wasted Time In Traffic Costs Commuters $121B; Bay Area Among Worst

AUSTIN, Texas (CBS SF/AP) - An annual study of national driving patterns shows that Americans spent 5.5 billion additional hours sitting in traffic in 2011, and Bay Area roads are among the most congested.

The Texas A&M Transportation Institute released a report Tuesday that found Americans are adapting to road congestion by allowing, on average, an hour to make a trip that would take 20 minutes without traffic. The Urban Mobility Report also said clogged roads cost Americans $121 billion in time and fuel in 2011.

The study also ranked the 10 most congested cities, and not surprisingly for local commuters, the San Francisco Bay Area made the list at #2.

The report is one of the key tools used by experts to solve traffic problems. But the institute advises that every community has unique challenges and require different, multi-faceted approaches to solving congestion.

Commuters' Wasted Time in Traffic Costs $121B

Texas A&M researcher Bill Eisele said among the key functions are, "ensuring that we're clearing crashes as quickly as possible. Timing signals so people are hitting the green lights. Do I need to take this trip during rush hour? Perhaps do flex time or telecommuting,"

In order, the 10 most congested cities are Washington, Los Angeles. which is tied with San Francisco-Oakland, New York-Newark, Boston, Houston, Atlanta, Chicago, Philadelphia and Seattle.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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