BATON ROUGE, LA (NBC33) — 42 hours, that's the amount of time on average a Baton Rouge driver spends in traffic in just one year, according to a recently released study by Texas A & M. While it's one of the highest traffic wait times in the nation, it's no shock to drivers I spoke with.
"No it definitely would not surprise me. I do a lot of traveling to other cities, and I find Baton Rouge to be very bad traffic-wise," Cammile Burkley-Wilson, a frustrated driver explained.
So bad traffic wise, the study's authors explained that the situation for traffic time versus city size is unlike anywhere else in the country.
"The 42 hours of extra travel time that Baton Rouge commuters spend in traffic is the 21st worst in the country. Particularly when you look at the size, you're the 70th ranked population group. So your 21st rank is far above where you are in terms of population," Tim Lomax, a research engineer at the Texas A&M.
Driver Burkley-Wilson said she's so fed up with the problem she's even called the city to complain, but the traffic issues continue.
"I find it very, very difficult to cross town. Especially if you have to go to work, you want to give yourself 30 minutes, but often times it takes 45 and so of course that affects your life," she exclaimed.
Other drivers are convinced, though once construction on major projects is wrapped up the commute will be smooth sailing, and the hours spent in traffic will all be worth it.
"I understand the big picture, and they have to improve the roads, do the additions, upgrade everything. So it's the price of growth," said Errol Taylor, another Baton Rouge driver.
Lomax said the major traffic issues can be pinpointed to the rapid population growth we've seen here in the capital area since Hurricane Katrina.