Why is Baltimore one of the worst traffic cities? - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

Why is Baltimore one of the worst traffic cities?

It comes as no surprise to many drivers in Baltimore that traffic of the city ranks among nation’s busiest. During morning and evening commuting hours, Baltimore traffic becomes infernal as numerous residents are trying to get to their workplaces or back home. The north-west stretch between Baltimore National Pike and Providence Road is known to be the most congested area of the city. Based on analyses of the duration, length, and frequency of traffic jams, a global study conducted by transportation and analytical firm Inrix Inc. has concluded that Baltimore occupies the 33rd rank on the list of the cities with the busiest traffic on the road.

According to various statistics, Baltimore drivers spend 7 percent of their time sitting in traffic. Yet, during morning and evening commute, 10 percent of that time is spent stuck in congestions on the road into and out of the city. Drivers in Baltimore complain that the traffic congestions force them to spend hours on the road. The hours spent stuck in traffic translate into direct and indirect costs. The traffic of the city results in a huge loss of money, waste of time and fuel, and of course, carbon emissions.

Effects of congestion

Congested traffic has a large number of ill effects on divers, environment, health and the economy of the city in many ways. Drivers who encounter unexpected traffic may be late for work and other appointments resulting in a loss of productivity and their valuable time. It can also negatively impact on people’s psychological state as they deal with the frustration of being unable to reach their destination on time.

One of the most harmful effects of traffic congestion in Baltimore is the increasing potential for traffic accidents. Drivers who become impatient and tired are more likely to drive aggressively and dangerously increasing the risk for them to be involved in a car accident. Due to the high traffic, high vehicle maintenance costs, and increased likelihood of road accidents, drivers in Baltimore pay huge amounts of money for car insurance compared with other parts of the world. For example, California is considered to be one of the best cities for traffic based on annual hours spent in congestion, therefore the SR22 Insurance California offers protection to the drivers at very affordable prices.

Another effect of the high traffic in Baltimore is its negative impact on the environment. traffic congestions make vehicles produce a large volume of harmful carbon emissions. New studies show that Baltimore’s air quality has come in the 10 worst U.S. metropolitan areas due to its traffic ranks. Smog and ground-level ozone cause a host of respiratory problems including coughing, throat irritation, and asthma. In fact, Baltimore’s asthma hospitalization rates are far higher than the state and national average. Environmental specialists and the residents of the city are all intrigued by the fact that they are unable to breathe clean air.

Somehow, traffic congestion can also have a beneficial effect including the ability to encourage drivers to consider other transportation options. To no longer deal with traffic jams, more and more environmentally-aware Baltimore residents rely on public transit, walking, biking, and ride sharing to move around the city. In fact, it has been noticed that the number of people using those alternative transportation methods is now higher than ever before. Drivers in Baltimore no longer wish to be affected by the traffic congestion from their city.

The vehicle maintenance costs are also an effect that affects drivers. The type of “wear and tear” mechanical components of their vehicles such as the clutch and the breaks are considerably used under stop and start driving conditions. The drivers are stuck in traffic jams for hours and continuously have to adapt to the driving conditions of the road. Therefore, their vehicles are more likely to suffer damages. Hence, the vehicle maintenance costs have been steadily increasing.

There have been announced several initiatives for the widening for three major highways in the state to ease congestion. However, the enormous costs seem to be an issue in combating traffic congestion. Yet, bike and pedestrian projects are certainly less expensive and can have a higher return as Baltimore drivers will be less car reliant.

Recommendations

There is no surprise that more and more residents, businesses, and nonprofit organizations have united to find good solutions for the traffic conditions in Baltimore. The recommendations are not only aiming the decongestion of the traffic but also to prevent and stop any possible present and future ill effects of it.

It is not a secret any more than many metropolitan areas from the world who were dealing with congested traffic have implemented a cycling culture. This eco-friendly solution aims to protect the environment and to resolve the problem of traffic jams. Implementing urban planning solutions that sustain a cycling culture will encourage the residents of Baltimore to be less car reliant to move around the city.

Traffic congestion and car parking are also interrelated due to the fact that looking for a parking spot can create additional delays and impairs local circulation. Well-developed parking solutions can significantly lower the time spent by the Baltimore drivers on the road.

Support policies at every level of government to reduce global warming pollution, including the recommendations to increase the use of wind, solar, and other sustainable energy to place the state at the right limits on climate pollution.

Dramatically impacted by the population, the economy, and infrastructure, traffic congestion is an indiscriminate global phenomenon. It cost drivers huge amounts of money, time, and nerves. If not remediated, the situation of the traffic in Baltimore will continue to have serious consequences for local economies, businesses, and citizens in the years to come.





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