Lindsay Wilcox, NBC 5 News
A new study says North Texans waste 164 million hours every year sitting in gridlock.
A new study confirms what many North Texans already know: Dallas-Fort Worth has some of the worst traffic in the nation.
North Texans waste 164 million hours every year sitting in gridlock, according to the study. If you got the time spent in traffic back, it would amount to two days and $1,000.
The 2011 Urban Mobility Report released Tuesday said drivers in the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington area wasted 45 hours on average sitting in traffic last year. That adds up to $924.
The Texas Department of Transportation has 900 projects either under construction or in the planning phase in the seven-county Dallas district.
"We've got to keep trucks moving. We've got to keep people going to work," TxDOT spokeswoman Michelle Releford said. "That helps our economy, and if our economy is in good shape, then our state is in good shape."
Because the economy is in bad shape and fewer people are driving, the Texas Transportation Institute, which conducted the study for TxDOT, said this is the perfect time for all the improvements currently underway.
"If you don't plan well, if all the partners don't come together in transportation planning, then when the economy comes back up and you have more people coming to work in your city, you're not prepared for that extra traffic," said Releford.
Unfortunately, the traffic congestion is forecast to get worse over the coming years. You can expect to lose another seven hours in traffic by 2020.