When you’re stuck in a traffic jam — and let’s face it, most of us are these days — do you dream of escaping by flying through the clouds or tunneling below the street? Soon enough, both options may become possible, thanks to a couple of high-concept ideas floating around Silicon Valley. But those who think they can transcend traffic in a flying taxi or through a futuristic, underground tunnel may be depressed to learn that neither plan is likely to do much to loosen the vise-like grip of traffic congestion on our nation’s roadways. In fact, they may actually make things worse.
First, some facts: the US is the most congested developed country in the world, with 11 cities in the top 25 for most gridlocked. Drivers in the US spend an average of 42 hours a year in traffic during peak times, according to a recent analysis . And congestion costs more than just your time — it also hits you right in the wallet. The direct and indirect costs of gridlock in 2016 was $300 billion, or an average of $1,400 per driver.
Traffic is also extremely deadly. As many as 40,000 people died in motor vehicle crashes […]