TDOT hopes to put the brakes on Nashville traffic congestionPosted: Updated:
Rush hour for folks trying to get to Nashville can be quite challenging on most days. Commuters are finding themselves in bumper-to-bumper traffic for what seems like hours.
A national traffic study by Texas A&M Transportation Institute has the Music City ranked pretty high in one statistic because of traffic congestion.
Martin Whiteside has the commute from Whitehouse to Nashville down to a science. He's an early riser; he gets up at 4:15 a.m. and he's out the door by 6 a.m. It usually takes him about 30 minutes to get to work.
"I don't have to fight the traffic in the morning, and on top of that I can get back home and spent more time with the family," Whiteside said.
But on the mornings when he's running late, it's a different story.
"I would usually go a different route instead of (Interstate) 65," Whiteside said.
A lot of other commuters trying to get to Music City are finding themselves stuck behind the wheel going nowhere fast.
The Urban Mobility Report ranks Nashville the 11th worst in the country, neck and neck with city of Miami, where drivers spend an average of 47 extra hours a year because of traffic congestion. But Tennessee Department of Transportation officials said the study doesn't take into consideration daily rush hour, accidents and weather conditions.
"To a degree this study is a little misleading because the traffic sampling was taking over varies times throughout the year," said TDOT representative Deanna Lambert. "To get a better picture of congestion you have to be out there every day during rush hour looking at everything going on."
Cheatham County resident Butch Rose also leaves early to avoid the daily traffic mess, but going home is a different story.
"Sometimes I come back through Nashville coming home in the evenings, and it's quite jammed up in certain areas," Rose said.
The study also revealed that in 2011 the average American wasted $818 each year just sitting in traffic.
"It seems wasteful and it seems like there are a lot better ways to use that money," commuter Ben Miller said.
TDOT is taking a proactive approach to deal with traffic congestion. They believe the new addition to State Route 840, widening parts of Interstate 440 and 65 in Williamson County are going help.
"A few years ago we widened I-24 from Murfreesboro all the way to Nashville, but here's the problem - you can only widen interstates so much before you run out of room and have to look at other options," Lambert said.
In the meantime, folks will just have to pack plenty of patience on their commute to Nashville.
According to the report, drivers commuting to Nashville should plan for nearly two hours of travel time for what should be about a half hour trip in light traffic. To view the full report, just click on the link below:
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