Circled by freeways, Atlanta has some of the worst traffic in the United States. Photo by Nrbelex from Flickr.
Via Public Routes Blog, Peter Lindsay, a political scientist at Georgia State University, writes about the externalities of car use, arguing that if American car owners actually had to bear the total costs of cars – ie traffic, air pollution, respiratory diseases, etc. – the American love affair with the automobile would quickly fizzle. Dr. Lindsay sites two interesting statistics:
1. “U.S. estimates on the annual costs of car-induced air, water and noise pollution and its related health problems range from $230 billion to $940 billion.”
2. “…traffic congestion cost Americans $78.2 billion in 2005…”
To read more about the hidden costs of cars, see Crystal Davis’ post and one I wrote a little while back.