Jacksonville ranks in top 60 for traffic congestion

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Driving during rush hour in Jacksonville can be a headache for almost anyone, no matter what side of town it is.

But according to a new study, it can also be an ache on drivers' bank accounts as well, costing them hundreds of dollars each year.

According to the new Urban Mobility Report from the Texas A&M Traffic Institute, Jacksonville ranks in the top 60 in many of the categories nationally of the impact of traffic congestion. Some drivers who travel through some of the more highly congested areas say those areas such as Blanding Boulevard near Interstate 295 are a nightmare during peak times.

IMAGES: Big cities with worst traffic congestion

"You can get trapped there at that light for 30 minutes just to get onto 295," driver Randy Jaerger said. "You can sit there and have it take 30 minutes to move 100 yards."

According to the study, the average driver in Jacksonville spends 30 hours each year sitting in traffic. That is less than half the annual time drivers spend in traffic in Washington D.C., the worst city in the country.

Still, most know that fixing the problem isn't going to be easy.

"You have to add more lanes to the highways, make the roads wider," Jaerger said. "It's really laws of physics. You need more space."

Another thing the report says is that each year drivers in Jacksonville waste $635 sitting in traffic. That's wasted fuel and lost productivity combined.

AAA has some tips for drivers to help them save time and money.

"The main things are quick stops and quick starts. It's amazing how much those things will help you," AAA spokesman Bill Bishop said. "Some of the newer GPS units that have real-time traffic updates, they give alternate routes and they are really helpful."

Many drivers say that while traffic delays are an inconvenience, they have to expect them and plan for them, otherwise their frustrations will just increase.

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