Congestion Is Worse In Europe than In U.S, Claims Wendell Cox

Citing a new report by INRIX, Wendell Cox claims that lost time due to congestion in the United States is approximately one-third that of lost time in Europe.

INRIX, the organization responsible for the new report, is an international provider of traffic information.

According to the article by Wendell Cox, "in the United States, peak period traffic congestion adds 14.4 hours annually per driver. This compares to an average delay per year of 39.5 hours for the European nations."

Wendell Cox concludes, "these findings are consistent with international data indicating that traffic congestion tends to be more intense where there are higher urban population densities."

Full Story: United States: Less Congestion than Europe Per INRIX



Cox's Obvious Errors

The most obvious error, of course, is that he gives numbers for time lost PER DRIVER, without mentioning that people are less auto-dependent in European cities.

The number one city in the world for time lost due to congestion is Los Angeles, where most people have no choice but to drive.

Number two for time lost due to congestion is Utrecht, Netherlands, where I would guess that as many people bicycle as drive, and the bicyclists do not lose time due to congestion. So even though there is lots of time lost per driver in Utrecht, there is less time lost per person.

The less obvious error is not made explicit in the article. However, I assume that his figures make the same error that the TTI figures do. They count time lost to congestion, but do not count time lost to longer distances. European cities have more congestion than American cities, but they also have shorter distances to travel.

It is plausible that time spent traveling is just as short in Europe as in America, or even shorter, but Cox's numbers do not look at this at all.

Charles Siegel

Error or misleading?

I used to live in Europe and remember the radio broadcasts (this was before The Internets) relaying how long in kilometers the traffic jams were. They were long. And annoying. But the key issue was you could choose to take the train instead if you needed to get somewhere and didn't want to be trapped in your car. And these days, you can work via the series of tubes on the train while you travel.

I'm sure"forgot" make this point in this argument. And every other pro-car/anti-choice argument he has made.



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