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Report: Cincinnati 39th Worst For Traffic Congestion

Bill Rinehart
The report says congestion increased by eight percent from 2016 to 2017.

Cincinnati ranks 39 out of nearly 300 American cities for traffic congestion. The study from INRIX indicates Cincinnati drivers spent about 26 hours a year during peak travel times in gridlock. INRIX Chief Economist Graham Cookson says seven percent of all driving time locally was in congestion.

"If you think about the value of the time that you're wasting and the additional gasoline that you're burning, stuck in traffic, it all adds up. For drivers in the city, we estimate it's just over a $1,000 each (a year.)"

Cookson says while that congestion hurts economic productivity and vitality, he says there's an interesting contradiction: congestion is a symptom of economic growth.

The study shows congestion increased by eight percent from 2016 to last year.

Cookson says there's good and bad news from the study. "On the positive, you're not right at the top of the list. But then relative to its (Cincinnati's) size, obviously that's quite a lot of congestion," he says.

"I think one of the things to think about is what policies can we do to try to improve the situation."

Cookson says that can include improved mass transit options. "That can be through trying to encourage ride sharing. Or greater use of public transport. But the key is: is there enough public transport, is it in the right place, is it serving the right communities and getting people to the right business locations for their jobs?"

He says city planners can also look at encouraging people to change their work hours to thin out the number of vehicles during peak travel times.

While Cincinnati was ranked 39 in the US for congestion problems, Dayton was 170. Columbus was 55. Louisville came in at 74 and Indianapolis was ranked 94.

Rinehart has been a radio reporter since 1994 with positions in markets like Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska; Sioux City, Iowa; Dayton, Ohio; and most recently as senior correspondent and anchor for Cincinnati’s WLW-AM.