Are We There Yet?
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IBM recently conducted its second annual IBM Commuter Pain study, and guess what: 55% of those surveyed say they’re unlikely to make a long Labor Day weekend driving trip.
After seeing the traffic out on Interstate 35 in Central Texas yesterday, I can certainly see why.
Yep, it seems commuters are voting with their gearbox this holiday weekend, and the vote is to keep the car in “Park.”
Sensitivity to higher gas prices, desire to spend time with family instead of commuting…all factors cited in the study as suggesting the recession is taking its toll on urban motorists.
Let me just get down on the ground again and thank IBM for being so far-sighted when it comes to employee work policies. Many of we IBMers can work anywhere we have a phone and Internet connection, and I’ve gotten so used to NOT being in traffic (and trust me, I used to commute quite a bit), that when I DO get out on Mopac in Austin I just downright freak out.
What are all these cars doing out here, I think? Who are all these people? Where are they going?
So why is traffic so frustrating? Listen to more details of the study:
And what would folks do if they could get some of that commuting time back? 52% would spend it with family and friends, of course.
That’s just a downright heartbreaker.
And 37% would exercise more.
So, if you can think of a way to allow people to work out in their cars while their friends and family hang out cheering them on with some quality down time, you could make a fortune!
Anne Altman, IBM’s general manager for the global public sector, explained the study this way: “Conducted at a time of great change in the United States, the Commuter Pain survey clearly demonstrates the vast impact that commuting and traffic congestion have on our economy. The time has come for cities and states to embrace real, long-term solutions that unclog our nation’s roadways.”
Some other sound bytes that back up Anne’s observation:
IBM Commuter Pain Index
Such events are impacting communities in the U.S. and abroad, where governments, citizens and private sector organizations are looking beyond traditional remedies like additional roads and greater access to public transportation to reverse the negative impacts of increased road congestion.
Findings from the Commuter Pain Survey will be used to assess citizen concerns about traffic and commuter issues; expand solutions like automated tolling, real-time traffic prediction, congestion charging, and intelligent route planning; and serve as a basis for pioneering innovative new approaches to traffic mitigation.
For the complete report, please click here: http
Meanwhile, this weekend, please keep your eyes on the road, off your Blackberries and iPhones, and whether you’re in the car or not, enjoy that precious time with family and friends.
Happy Labor Day, weekend, and here’s to no laboring.