By Jeff Brown, WBZ NewsRadio 1030

BOSTON (CBS) – It’s not your imagination. Boston traffic is getting worse.

An improving economy is supposed to be good for everyone. Now, the improving economy is getting on our nerves.

“Really what we’re seeing is the effect of the economic recession ending and the consequent growth in traffic congestion,” says Tim Lomax, author of a study by Texas A&M Transportation Institute on just how bad it is on the nation’s highways.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Jeff Brown reports

And in greater Boston, it’s pretty bad.

“The average auto commuter wasted about 64 hours of extra travel time and had 30 extra gallons of fuel consumed due to stop and go driving,” Lomax said.

That’s five more hours than in 2009 and more than 20 additional hours gripping the wheel in the last two decades.

And sitting in the driver’s seat doing nothing costs you money.

“Almost $1400 as sort of this congestion tax,” Lomax says.

And it’s not only the art of sitting in traffic we have to account for.

“For say a 20 minute trip in the off peak, you have to allow 55 minutes during the peak hours,” he says.

Nationwide, the amount of money traffic costs drivers is staggering.

“About $160 billion dollars’ worth of cost,” says Lomax.

And everyone it seems is stuck in traffic:

“The hours of delay and fuel for the individual, the average auto commuter in the country wastes about 42 hours,” Lomax says. “You can think of that as a week of vacation.”

So Boston traffic is much worse than the nation, but it could be even worse.

“Washington DC, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, but then Boston is right in there with San Jose,” Lomax says.

Proving time is money and we’re wasting both.

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