Stopping global warming one highway at a time

One of the things that makes Buffalo great is the fact that it’s so easy to get around. While many urbanites decry Buffalo’s network of highways, being able to quickly get from the northtowns to the southtowns in half an hour is a feature not found in many population centers.

Business First has another reason our highways are a good thing – we’re not wasting gas sitting in traffic.

Congestion caused drivers to travel 4.2 billion hours more and to purchase an extra 2.9 billion gallons of fuel at a cost of $78 billion. That is an increase of 220 million hours, 140 million gallons and $5 billion from 2004.

Put another way, the authors say that’s 105 million weeks of vacation and 58 fully-loaded supertankers.

Such tie-ups, however, are not readily found in Western New York. Buffalo drivers are delayed, on average, 11 hours per year, lowest among 25 metro areas with population between 1 million and 3 million. San Diego has the highest average delay — 57 hours annually. The average among medium-sized cities is 37 hours.

So the next time someone tells you they want to rip out a major thoroughfare and replace it with a parkway, keep in mind it’s one of the things that contributes to Buffalo’s greatness – and one of the things we’re doing to reduce our “carbon footprint”.

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