Chicago Fourth in Commuter Pain

IBM Study ranks Chicago fourth highest in commute-related stress levels

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
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    According to a recent survey, Chicagoans are experiencing even more traffic-related stress than last year.

    Most commuters will say their daily drive is a pain in the butt (for lack of more colorful language). And even with a recession in place and more people taking public transit, Chicagoans are experiencing even more stress than last year.

    The second annual IBM Commuter Pain survey, released today, polled nearly 4,500 drivers in 10 metro areas in the U.S.

    Guess what? Chicago ranks fourth highest in "commuter pain," up from fifth place last year.

    "In large urban areas, traffic is so bad that even minor drops in traffic may not affect the pain," said Naveen Lamba, global industry leader for intelligent transportation at IBM, reports the Sun-Times.

    In fact, over half of all drivers think that roadway traffic has actually gotten worse in the last three years.

    But while Chicagoans might be complaining about the roads (I-55, I-80, Route 59, and Kennedy Expressway are the worst, respondents say), they're not actually doing anything to solve the problem.

    According to the survey, drivers in Chicago are among the least likely to look for alternatives. For example, carpooling could help ease some of the stress, but Windy City residents are the least inclined to carpool among the 10 cities surveyed. Only 2 percent of drivers here carpool, compared to a national average of 4 percent.

    IBM's top 5 most painful commutes in order are Los Angeles; Washington, D.C.; Miami; Chicago; and Boston.

    Be careful when visiting these cities. Respondents say they are getting less sleep and become angry quicker than usual.

    So calm down Chicago! And you might want to rethink your driving plans this Labor Day weekend.

    Matt Bartosik, a "between blogs" blogger, has a hellish commute from bedroom to home office.