There’s a new reality to traffic congestion in Washington, D.C., where the city’s transportation network has become a major transportation bottleneck.
Drivers are now required to park their cars on public streets, or pay for private parking with public funds.
Driving from the Capitol to the White House, for instance, requires a trip that would take around six hours if you parked on the street, according to an analysis of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority’s (MWA) travel map published Wednesday.
That means that on the same day as the city gets into full gear on its road to recovery, the metro area could see nearly a quarter of its trips delayed by at least 24 hours, or nearly 2.5 million trips, MWA officials said in a statement.
That’s an average of roughly 6,000 extra trips every hour.
The MWA report was the latest in a series of recent reports from outside experts showing the extent to which traffic congestion has affected traffic in Washington.
The Washington Post reported last week that the city has the largest number of drivers on the road in the country, and the Washington Post also reported that Washingtonians were spending an average $1,000 more per year on parking than they do in other major cities.MWA officials have repeatedly acknowledged the issue, but have said they are trying to figure out how to mitigate the problem.
Municipalities across the country are also dealing with similar congestion.
Last year, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AAASHTO) reported that the Washington metropolitan area had the largest backlog in the nation.
The issue is exacerbated by a surge in car ownership, which is also fueling a growing number of vehicles on the roads, said MWA spokesperson Mike White.
There’s been an influx of new vehicles that are no longer needed for trips, so there’s not as much traffic congestion, White said.
The number of cars on the streets has been rising, but it’s still less than it used to be, White added.
For many commuters, that means getting to work on time.
White said he hopes to see an end to the practice of parking on city streets by 2020.
“I don’t think that we’re going to be able to completely eliminate parking on our streets anytime soon,” White said in an interview.