No. 8: Raleigh, N.C.
$6.10 Per Commuter Per Day
Raleigh is a victim of its own success–one of the country's fastest-growing cities, it lacks the infrastructure to handle the number of cars on the road. Residents here are delayed on average 35 hours a year in peak traffic, according to the Texas Transportation Institute. That may not sound like much, but those delays are comparable to Philadelphia, which has more than five times as many commuters. Even with gas priced at $3.59, 87% of commuters drive alone to work.
So as we continue to let developers run amok and have poor planning for infrastructure that lacks a pay as you go strategy, one of the greatest places to live in America will soon turn to one of the most frustrating places to live in America. With my previous job, I had to commute from my town of Garner to RTP, a 26 mile trek that at times took over an hour in rush hour traffic. My options? None really, telecommuting wasn't really supported because most of management lived down Hwy55 and assumed everyone lived in Cary/Apex off of Hwy55. If I was to take public transportation, I would first have to drive to downtown Raleigh, then catch a bus to sit on I40 and take twice as long. The solution, I found a new job that supports telecommuting fulltime. I was lucky, most people don't have that option. If the Triangle area doesn't adopt a more rational urban planning model that supports central residential and commercial districts, and a light rail system and cycling routes, they may find that what attracted people here may not be as compelling as to what may make them want to leave.