Funny that on a day when traffic in this area was a nightmare on the 190 and 290, the Texas Traffic Institute issued a report that says traffic congestion in the country is improving. But most of that is because the economy is so bad. When people don’t have jobs they don’t drive to work. And they also go out less in the first place.

As the economy improves traffic will get worse. The latest report says Americans spent about 5.5 billion hours waiting in traffic in 2011. And when you consider wasted gas and time it works out to $121 billion or $818 per person.

The Annual Mobility Report showed Buffalo ranked 45th in traffic congestion among the 101 largest cities in the country. Buffalo drivers lost 33 hours stuck in traffic and wasted 18 gallons of gas.

Not really too bad compared to Washington DC – the most congested city where the average driver wastes 67 hours and burned up 32 gallons of gas sitting in traffic. And it doesn’t look like it’s going to get any better in Washington. The area is expected to continue growing in population –meaning more people on the roads that are already obsolete.

Following Washington – the rest of the Top 10 most congested cities are:

  • Los Angeles
  • San Francisco-Oakland
  • New York-Newark
  • Boston
  • Houston
  • Atlanta
  • Chicago
  • Philadelphia
  • Seattle.

The report shows the easiest city to get around among the Top 101 is Raleigh-Durham.

The reports recommends that during peak travel times in the nation’s most congested cities if you want to get to your destination on time add 38 to 95 minutes for any 20-minute trip.