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New report: traffic congestion costs Chicago region, individuals much more than previously estimated

(Chicago) … It’s no secret that traffic in metropolitan Chicago is bad and getting worse. What most people do not realize is just how much this traffic is costing them – and our region. The Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) will release its latest report, Moving at the Speed of Congestion , quantifying the actual costs of congestion to the city and suburbs – broken down by county to show the regional effects of congestion, and by time and fuels costs to show the effect on the average driver – on Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2008, from 10 to 11:30 a.m., at the Chicago Public Library, Harold Washington Library Center, Multi-Purpose Room, Lower Level, 400 S. State St., Chicago.

The report, which is available on an embargoed basis, stems from a study commissioned by MPC and conducted by HDR Decision Economics. The upshot: gridlock costs the region much more than previous studies have estimated. For instance, in 2007, the Texas Transportation Institute reported metropolitan Chicago loses approximately $4 billion each year because of traffic congestion; however, the MPC study indicates the cost is much higher. What’s more, even as consumers absorb the economic burden of record-high gas prices, wasted time – not fuel – is the major factor contributing to the cost.

For more information about the report and to obtain a copy, please contact MPC Asst. Communications Director Mandy Burrell Booth, at mburrell@metroplanning.org , or 312-863-6018. 

What:
Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) will release its new report, Moving at the Speed of Congestion , which measures the actual cost of congestion in metropolitan Chicago. At the event, MPC will present key findings from the study, and additional presenters will respond to put the data in context.

Who:
Paul Nowicki, Assistant Vice President, Government Affairs, BNSF Railway, Chicago
MarySue Barrett, President, Metropolitan Planning Council
Randy Blankenhorn, Executive Director, Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning
Paul O’Connor, Former Head of World Business Chicago
Jeff Kelly Lowenstein, Reporter, Chicago Reporter

When:
Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2008
10 to 11:30 a.m.

Where:
Chicago Public Library
Harold Washington Library Center
Multi-Purpose Room, Lower Level
400 S. State St., Chicago

Media inquiries:
Moving at the Speed of Congestion is embargoed until Tuesday, Aug. 5, at 10 a.m. Reporters who would like a copy of the report and/or who would like to attend the briefing should contact MPC Asst. Communications Director Mandy Burrell Booth, at mburrell@metroplanning.org, or 312.863.6018.

Registration:
Cost is free, but space is limited; early registration is encouraged. Attendees may register at MPC's Web calendar .

This event is co-hosted by the Chicago Reporter , a publication of the Community Renewal Society, and Chicago Public Library , with generous sponsorship provided by Bombardier.

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For more than 80 years, the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) has made the Chicago region a better place to live and work by partnering with businesses, communities and governments to address the area's toughest planning and development challenges. MPC works to solve today's urgent problems while consistently thinking ahead to prepare the region for the needs of tomorrow. Read more about our work »

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