AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- An annual study of national driving patterns shows that Americans spent 5.5 billion additional hours sitting in traffic in 2011.
The Texas A&M Transportation Institute released a report Tuesday that found Americans are adapting to road congestion by allowing, on average, an hour to make a trip that would take 20 minutes without traffic. The Urban Mobility Report also says clogged roads cost Americans $121 billion in time and fuel in 2011.
Gov. Bob McDonnell (R-VA) used the study Tuesday to promote his transportation agenda.
'The Virginia Beach region is ranked #20 worst in the country and the Richmond region is #60. This is simply unacceptable,' he said.
It also determined that the 10 most congested cities are Washington, Los Angeles, San Francisco-Oakland, New York-Newark, Boston, Houston, Atlanta, Chicago, Philadelphia and Seattle.
The report is one of the key tools used by experts to solve traffic problems. But the institute advises that every community has unique challenges and require different, multi-faceted approaches to solving congestion.
-Congestion in Northern Virginia/Washington region is the worst in the country. Drivers face 67 hours of delay per year, costing $1398 per driver and wasting 32 gallons of gas.
-Congestion in the region around Virginia Beach is the 20th worst in the country. Drivers face 43 hours of delay per year, costing $877 per driver and wasting 19 gallons of gas.
-Congestion in the Richmond area is the 60th worst in the country. Drivers face 29 hours of delay per year, costing $581 per driver and wasting 12 gallons of gas.
-Congestion produces 631 pounds of CO2 per driver in D.C., 373 pounds of CO2 per driver in Virginia Beach, and 234 pounds of CO2 per driver in Richmond.