Holy Astonishing Traffic Facts Batman!

photo via KUT News

photo via KUT News

  • More than 80% of traffic in a typical city runs on 10% of the roads.
  • SUVs can reduce the capacity of signalized intersections by up to 20%.
  • It takes longer for people who circle looking for the “best” parking spot to get to their destination than those who pick the first spot they see.
  • After thirty seconds of waiting, most people will begin to cross against the light. People are more likely to jaywalk when well-dressed people do it first.
  • Men honk more than women and men and women honk more at women than at men. Drivers in convertibles with the tops down are less likely to honk than those with the top up. Drivers honk faster at cars whose drivers are on cell phones. And drivers are more likely to honk at people from another state or country than their own. Drivers honk less on weekends.
  • People are willing to spend longer walking to and from a parking spot in parking lots than on city streets.
  • Parents on the “school run” increase local traffic by a third. Only about 15% of U.S. school children walk to school.
  • In the U.S., fuel taxes would have to be raised from 20 to 70 cents a gallon for drivers to fully pay for the cost of roads (unlike in Europe, where drivers pay more than roads cost).
  • Car drivers drive closer to helmeted cyclists (and farther from cyclists who appear to be
  • When roads are closed for construction, traffic on other nearby roads often decreases rather than increases.
  • One in five urban crashes is related to searching for parking.
  • Pedestrians think drivers can see them up to twice as far away as they actually can.

For more of these intriguing facts check out Tom Vanderbilt’s blog.

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