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This is my new theory about the relationship between traffic and urban/metro populations.

The greater the difference between the urban and the metro population, the greater the traffic that city has in porportion to its size. Factors such as density, use of mass transit...etc affect this theory.

This applies to many U.S. cities. Look at Los Angeles, America's worst traffic place. L.A. urban population is 12 million while its metro is 17.5 million. That is a significant difference resulting in heavy traffic and since it's a very large city, it has HORRIBLE traffic.

New York's urban population is 18 million while its metro is 22 million. Not as significant difference as Los Angeles therefore it has less traffic problems. But since New York is HUGE, it's common for it to have heavy traffic. Remember the traffic in porportion to the city's size and the density as well.

Chicago's urban population is 8.3 million and its metro is around 9.6 million. Not a very large difference, but Chicago is a very large city therefore traffic is common, and the size of Chicago's highways are a factor making Chicago's traffic worse than it should be. I hear some people in this forum complain about Chicago's highways are too narrow and should have more lanes.

Philadelphia's urban population is 5.2 million and its metro is 6 million. Not a very big difference therefore less traffic problems and the use of mass transit benefits as well.
 

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First off, I think that the two have absolutely nothing in common.

Secondly, the numbers you are quoting aren't accurate. Los Angeles had a metropolitan population of 12,365,627 as of 2000 and an urbanized population of 11,789,487. Chicago had a metropolitan population of 9,098,316 and an urbanized population of 8,307,904. New York had a metropolitan population of 18,323,002 and an urbanized population of 17,799,861. Philadelphia had a metropolitan population of 5,687,147 and an urbanized population of 5,149,079.
 

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i think that your idea is partially true especially given the LA example, but the other issues of transit density and city orientation (linear, radial, or island etc.) have the greatest impact on the traffic situation.

the distrubition of cities amenities and districts can hurt it as well, because if you have to travel often/far to achieve regular tasks you increase the quantity of trips you make regularly and spend more time traveling which just builds up the problem for everyone. I think regional centrality can help this, but in the end its transit transit transit.
 

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archifreese said:
i think that your idea is partially true especially given the LA example, but the other issues of transit density and city orientation (linear, radial, or island etc.) have the greatest impact on the traffic situation.

the distrubition of cities amenities and districts can hurt it as well, because if you have to travel often/far to achieve regular tasks you increase the quantity of trips you make regularly and spend more time traveling which just builds up the problem for everyone. I think regional centrality can help this, but in the end its transit transit transit.
Umm.....well lets just think for a minute shall we........


1......2.....3.........60 OK good.


Not all traffic is population centric ( to coin a phrase).....commercial traffic is also a large, large, large component of traffic patterns......


think a busy seaport.....really try to visualize.....if you have trouble buy some old spice and picture that boat floating into habor times a thousand or more.


OK....good.

Now. The three largest metros, urban area etc are clearly NY, LA, Chi......and don't come at me with the overblown LA is 18million figure.....
'

basically NY is around 18, LA around 12-13, and CHI btw 9-10 mil


they all have bad traffic.....but the issue in CHi is convergence.....

CHI is the major rail, and trucking hub or the US, more interstates converge here than anywhere, as well as major railroads.....the end result is btw 2-3 times as much commercial traffic as LA, and 5 times NY.

I don't know about you but triples take up a lot of interstate realestate and they tend to back things up


especially if they are within sequence.
 

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Miami pretty much destroys your theory. Of all the major American cities, its Urban population is closest to its Metro population. They are basically identical (Miami has no sparse suburbs and no exurbs to speak of). Yet is has some of the worst traffic in the U.S. Most of this can be attributed to an inadequate road system and an even more inadequate transit system (not a good thing for a dense environment).
 

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Not something to be proud of-nope.
Urban Planning
Worst Cities For Traffic
Robert Malone, 02.07.06, 6:00 AM ET

NEW YORK - The worst traffic in the U.S. is getting even worse. It pollutes as the vehicles idle. It wastes the time of trucks and passenger cars. The annual delay per driver is in excess of 47 hours per year. It creates delayed shipments. It wastes more than 2.3 billion gallons of fuel each year.

The cost of U.S. traffic delays is, conservatively, $63.1 billion a year, based on 2003 figures, the Texas Transportation Institute says. And it's not getting any better.

"We would think that today the figure might be $2 billion to $3 billion more with the rise in fuel prices,” says David Schrank, author of the 2005 Urban Utility Report for the Texas Transportation Institute. He suggests further that despite this escalating problem, the commuting public has not changed its driving habits all that much. People have done some chaining of chores and shared driving to malls and offices. But the driving has continued, and the delays continue to get worse.

"In L.A. the traffic delay problem extends from sunup to sundown," says Schrank. "There is really no letup between.”

By the Texas Transportation Institute's reckoning, the cities having the worst traffic problems are:

1. Los Angeles, Long Beach, Santa Ana, Calif.

2. San Francisco, Oakland, Calif.

3. Washington, D.C.

4. Atlanta

5. Houston

6. Dallas, Fort Worth, Arlington, Tex.

7. Chicago.

8. Detroit

9. Riverside, San Bernardino, Calif.

9. Orlando, Fla.

11. San Jose, Calif.

12. San Diego

California has a decided edge in winning the award for the worst traffic, since five of its cities (or city regions) make the top 12 list. Several of the cities mentioned are well known as trucking, rail, air and sometimes sea hubs for logistics. The convergence of services taxes the infrastructure.

More dubious awards may be given for worst highways as determined by Overdrive magazine. They are I-10 in Louisiana, I-44 in Missouri and I-95 in New York.

I-10 had to be an outstanding problem during the duration of Hurricane Katrina. The worst highways seem to be associated with major cities, cities with major airports, large bodies of water (needing bridges that often result in fewer lanes, given their cost), rivers and huge suburban commuting populations.

Given the existing levels of expenditure on these roads and city infrastructures, all that's foreseeable is much more of the same. Can these problems be solved? Yes, but it takes incisive planning, political agreement, commitment from the top and earnest follow-through execution by all.

Click on the link below for the nation's worst choke points, according to the American Automobile Association. The list is not in any preferential order but highlights some of the most unsavory places to be avoided.

http://www.forbes.com/logistics/2006/02/06/worst-traffic-nightmares-cx_rm_0207traffic.html
 

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once again, nothing to brag about-in fact its shameful, but here's another interesting stat

Annual Hours of Delay Per Traveler
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana........93
San Francisco-Oakland.........................72
Washington, DC-MD-VA........................69
Atlanta..............................................67
Houston.............................................63
Dallas-Ft Worth...................................60
Chicago, IL-IN-WI................................58
Detroit...............................................57
Orlando..............................................55
Riverside-San Bernardino.......................55
San Jose............................................53
San Diego...........................................52
Boston...............................................51
Denver...............................................51
Miami.................................................51
Baltimore............................................50
New York-Newark, NY-NJ-CT..................49
Phoenix...............................................49
Seattle...............................................46
Tampa-St Petersburg............................46
Minneapolis-St Paul..............................43
Sacramento........................................40
Portland, OR........................................39
Indianapolis.........................................38
Philadelphia, PA-NJ-DE-MD.....................38
St Louis, MO-IL....................................35
Providence, RI-MA................................33
San Antonio.........................................33
Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN.............................30
Las Vegas............................................30
Columbus............................................29
Virginia Beach......................................26
Milwaukee...........................................23
New Orleans........................................18
Kansas City, MO-KS..............................17
Pittsburgh...........................................14
Buffalo................................................13
Oklahoma City.......................................12
Cleveland..............................................10

http://mobility.tamu.edu/ums/congestion_data/tables/national/table_4.pdf
 
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