Greenpoint, October, 2015

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Worser in Warsaw

The TomTom Congestion Indexes for Europe and North America are out. No, this is not about pollen levels or Tina Weymouth; it's about how clogged up the roadways of major metropolitan areas are. Surprise: New York falls somewhere in the middle for North America (15 out of 26 cities). Los Angeles and Vancouver are tied for most congested. For Europe, Warsaw tops the roll of shame again, followed by Marseille and Rome (three of my favorite cities!).

The most interesting stat for me is the "delay per hour in peak period." This measures how much additional time a driver is likely to spend on a roadway during the most congested period by comparing it to travel in so-called "free flow" time. In NYC, it's just 21 more minutes on, say, the BQE at its worst. In Warsaw, it's 52 minutes on the W-Z. For Varsovians with a 30-minute commute, that adds up to an extra 106 hours on the road every year. For New Yorkers it's a mere 61--not even a three-day weekend. No wonder Poles wish each other Szerokiej Drogi for Bon voyage--literally "Wide road."

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