National traffic study released, Tulsa ranks among top 50 most congested cities

TULSA - The average Tulsan spent 32 hours in traffic in 2011, according to a national study released Thursday.

The Texas A&M Transportation Institute report compared congestion rates of the country's biggest cities. And while 32 hours waiting anywhere might sound miserable, the data suggests the city to be in line with its size. 

Tulsa, the 45th largest city in the U.S. in 2011, ranked 47th in travel delay time for the year. To put that number into perspective, Washington D.C. drivers sat in 67 hours worth of traffic, double that of Tulsa. 

Oklahoma City commuters spent more time in congestion too, with 36 hours on average. Only 29 other cities recorded higher tallies. 

But those 32 hours per Tulsa pedal pile up. According to the report, 145 million pounds of carbon dioxide was produced into the city air for the year from busy traffic alone. 

READ THE FULL REPORT  (http://bit.ly/Y30EIw)

Adriane Jaynes, of Tulsa Area Clean Cities, says local drivers can reduce their footprint rather easily.

"[When you're] sitting in a drive-thru, picking up your kids, just turn off your car," Jaynes said.

Combining trips can also help, she says.

But it doesn't stop with the public, Jaynes says. The city of Tulsa needs to make energy-efficient living a priority. 

The addition of idle-reduction technology, which reduces unnecessary engine idling, on city vehicles would go a long way toward that goal, Jaynes says. 

For the next two months, the city will be hosting a series of public forums to discuss its proposed capital improvement package, the exact details of which remain unclear.

READ: 'City seeks input on capital improvement proposals' (http://bit.ly/YJshZ5)

No word yet if the package would address any congestion or pollution issues.

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