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New Study Says Traffic Congestion Costs Billions

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Sitting in traffic is costing drivers in Cook and the five collar counties up to $3,000 a year in gas and lost wages. That’s according to a report released today by the Chicago-based Metropolitan Planning Council. The group says if you tack on the costs of slow deliveries and pollution, roadway congestion costs the Chicago region more than $7 billion a year. Paul O’Connor helped develop the report. He says these additional costs can weaken the area’s business climate.

O’CONNOR: The ability to move people and to move goods is what it’s all about - speed to market really matters. It becomes increasingly more expensive just to burn time and to burn fuel.

Planning Council staff say knowing the costs of congestion is just a first step. Now the group wants to work with lawmakers to find solutions.

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