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Traffic congestion is rising in Michigan

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

If you think your morning commute is taking longer in Grand Rapids and Detroit, a new report says you’re right.

TheTexas A&M Transportation Institute’s annual Urban Mobility Scorecardshows it’s taking longer for many Michigan motorists to get around.

“The congestion recession is starting to be over,” says Bill Eisele with the institute, “In Michigan, in both Detroit and Grand Rapids, we’re starting to approach some of the congestion levels that we saw right before the recession hit.”

Eisele says traffic congestion consumes nearly 40 hours a year for commuters in Grand Rapids and more than 50 hours for motorists in Detroit.

It could be worse. Washington D.C. commuters log about 82 hours a year in traffic congestion. Drivers in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York sit in traffic for more than 70 hours a year.

Eisele says there are solutions. Beyond building more or expanding existing roads, he says communities can encourage greater use of public transportation.  

Eisele says businesses can help by encouraging more employees to telecommute or to change work schedules so employees can avoid peak morning and afternoon drive times.   

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.