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How Much Traffic is Caused by Searching for a Curbside Parking Spot?

30% of automobile traffic in US business districts is attributable to drivers driving around, waiting for a street-side parking spot to open up. It's estimated that cruising around looking for parking causes up to 950,000 excess vehicle miles (around 1.5 million km) per 15 block area over the course of a year. This extra mileage wastes 47,000 gallons (about 177,000 liters) of gas, and releases 730 tons (about 650 metric tons) of carbon dioxide, a potent greenhouse gas.

More facts about city traffic:

  • The city with the most expensive parking is London, with an average daily parking fee of $70 US Dollars (USD). In the US, the most expensive cities to park in are New York and Boston, both of which have an average parking fee of over $30 USD per day.

  • The area with the most congested traffic in the US is Los Angeles, closely followed by New York and Chicago. The average commuter in the Los Angeles area spends about 72 hours a year stuck in traffic.

  • The US metropolitan areas with the least traffic congestion are Buffalo, Salt Lake City, and Milwaukee.
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