I am lucky in that my time frames going to and coming home from work are in the off hours for traffic. It makes my drive to work much more leisurely and even coming home at 7pm traffic, for the most part, is down to a much smaller volume. However I do deal with traffic daily on the air. My guy Tom Beck keeps us up to date on what and where things stand and what looks or is bad. A new report places Chicago third in the nation for traffic congestion, with drivers losing 138 hours a year to backups. Chicago rose to third from fifth place in the national rankings between 2017 and 2018, and is now considered worse for congestion than either New York City or Los Angeles, two cities notorious for their traffic tangles. Boston ranked No. 1, followed by Washington, D.C. The report looked at severity of congestion, with a focus on last-mile speed and travel time, which is how long it takes to make the final mile to a destination during rush hour. In Chicago, the speed was 12 mph, so the time was 5 minutes. The study found that congestion had worsened in the city by 4 percent in 2018 compared with 2017. The tie-ups mean more than frustration they cost money. The average cost per driver of congestion in Chicago is worth $1,920, and $6.2 billion for the urban area overall. INRIX got this figure by calculating how much an average worker’s time is worth per hour, then multiplying by hours lost. “Congestion costs Americans billions of dollars each year,” said Trevor Reed, transportation analyst at INRIX. “It will continue to have serious consequences for national and local economies, businesses and citizens in the years to come.” Tribune Graphics The Chicago area had both the second and third spots on the list of most congested U.S. roads in 2018. The secondworst stretch in the nation is Interstate 94/Interstate 90 from the Stevenson Expressway to Interstate 294, with an average daily delay of 26 minutes, while the third-worst is Interstate 290 from I-94 to I-294, with an average delay of 23 minutes. The only city that had a worse stretch than Chicago was New York City, with the Cross Bronx Expressway, the INRIX study found. Among the factors examined by INRIX was how far vehicles drop from the posted speed during rush hour. One cause of increased congestion could be that there are more cars on the road, due to a strong economy and low gas prices. Figures, prosperity kicks us right in the ass or maybe in the wallet. 138 hours a year!! That’s crazy!!