Johns Creek residents have been fighting a losing battle with traffic for the past several years. Key road closures and construction projects have taken their toll on drivers and residents who find themselves trapped in their neighborhoods during rush hours, or face 20 minute ride to the grocery or school, which is within a mile or two of their homes.
Last year I did some calculations to determine what our delays cost us. Some local residents asked me to do the same for the Old Alabama-141 project, and so I have. You can read more about the details in the link below, but I explain as we go how the numbers are generated.
The Old Alabama Road project is, has, and will be going on for a long time, by any measure that you can find. With less than a 1/2 mile of widening to be accomplished, the cost of the road construction itself is at least $5 million and maybe higher. The City of Johns Creek went with the GDOT to do the project to save the taxpayers money.
But, like any government agency, they seem to forget about the costs to the taxpayers themselves. Being stuck in traffic for two years or more has a very high price. Most DOT project guides that I have seen give credence to the costs of that impact on residents. Johns Creek may be the exception.
According to the Georgia DOT webserver on traffic volumes, there were about 8619 cars per day traveling on Old Alabama during the three morning and evening hours that make up peak travel periods in Johns Creek in 2013.
Most of us have experienced worse delays than the 10 minutes I use for this example, but we will use that as the additional time each vehicle is taking to make it through the intersection.
That equals 86,190 minutes per day wasted sitting in traffic.
That equals 1,436 hours per day. At a value of $16 per hour(based on what other DOTs use for the cost of traffic delays), that works out to a cost of $22,984.00 per day.
And since there are 250 or so work days a year, that works out to $5,975,840.00 per year.
This suggests to me that the residents and drivers in and around Johns Creek will have nearly $12 million dollars in lost time, wear and tear on their vehicles, and general frustration while the City of Johns Creek will have saved around $5 million by having the Georgia Department of Transportation run this project.
Was it worth it?