According to a survey conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, on average, drivers in the U.S. travel 29.2 miles every day, spending a total of about 46 minutes in the car. However, transportation analytics firm Inrix recently released their own “traffic scorecard”, which showed that Los Angeles drivers are stuck in their vehicles for a whole lot longer.
Inrix’s scorecard listed the top-10 most-congested cities in the world, and to no one’s surprise, they put Los Angeles in the number one spot. Moscow and New York City, which were ranked second and third, didn’t even crack the triple digits. Drivers in Los Angeles, per Inrix’s data, spent a whopping 104 hours each driving through traffic last year.
Unlike residents and vacationers on the remote Sanibel Island, where there literally isn’t a single traffic light, Los Angeles drivers are no strangers to bumper-to-bumper gridlock. Unfortunately, the aggressive driving that tends to occur when people are inconvenienced on the road often lowers gas mileage by 33% on the highway and 5% on city streets. In fact, getting caught in traffic cost the average U.S. driver $1,400 last year; nationwide, it cost drivers about $3 billion.
Apps like Waze aim to help drivers avoid particularly congested areas of traffic by identifying alternative routes, but the app has caused controversy in Los Angeles by steering drivers towards residential areas. But if drivers want to find a safe place to park to wait out rush hour, there may be a new solution available.
Fortunately, tech giant Google has come up with a potential traffic solution, for Android users, anyway. The new tool would help Android users searching for parking in high-traffic areas.
While Google is mainly known for the search engine that has become a staple in the digital lives of nearly every Internet user across the globe (93% of online experiences start with a search engine), the company’s map feature has become widely popular in recent years as well.
Google Maps now offers a handy new signifier that alerts users to available parking spaces around their destination. The feature, which is still in beta, appears as a small “P” symbol in either blue or red. Blue indicates that “Easy” or “Medium” levels of parking are available, while red signifies “Limited” parking spots.
It is important to note that the parking feature is not updated in real time. Rather, it indicates the average level of difficulty in finding a parking spot based on historical data.
Google has rolled out this new Maps feature in cities all across the country, including the highly congested Los Angeles.
Image Source: Driving Arizona