the IT city, the I.T. Baby


9th day, Nashville’s inability to drive in the rain, late again, improper statistics to use to fix the problem

The only saving grace here is that not only were we late, but the person who checks off the late people was a no-show until I was leaving.

Leaving with 30 minutes to go on a 7.1 mile trip that generally takes at most 14 minutes. It sprinkled. Three wrecks in 5 miles of the trip. A line stretching from 8th ave a half mile back for no reason.

Nashville’s really got to do something about this traffic. Someone needs to propose a realistic sounding fake statistic that will make people willing to pay for infrastructure improvements.

I propose the two realistic sounding but entirely incorrectly established statistics

The half second delay

It’s reasonable to assume that each person in between you and your destination is going to cause a half second delay. Each one of these tall and skinny development houses fits another person in the same space that Nashville was handling three years ago.

Each traffic light is only designed to let 30 seconds of cars through and then delay you by 45 seconds.

That half second delay can push you into the 45 second delay window for every light you miss, and each 60 people who join the fray are going to push you back a light.

The billions in lost productivity

With traffic like it’s been it’s not a hard sell to say that compared to a year ago everyone is sitting in about a minute or two more traffic per trip with an average of 3.4 trips anywhere per day (there, to lunch, back again).

Multiply that 6.8 minutes times, let’s say a quarter million vehicles on the road comes to 28,333 lost hours of productivity/time a day. With an average hourly wage of $24 in Nashville that comes to $680,000 a day, a quarter million blown sitting in traffic per year, or a billion dollars wasted every Olympics.

The environmental impact

Doesn’t take a rocket surgeon to figure out that an additional 10.3 million hours of cars running in gridlock spewing out pollution and consuming gas aren’t good for anyone. At an average of at least 0.2 gallons per hour wasted  idling you’re looking at two million gallons of fuel wasted per year, or about four million dollars literally up in smoke (and co2, and water).

That’s somewhere around 12 million pounds of pollution, or the weight of 16 unloaded 747s.

Points if you can spot all the logical fallacies I’ve committed here. Hint: thinking that Nashville can fix its problems is not one of them.

Paul King

Paul King lives in Nashville Tennessee with his wife, two daughters and cats. He writes for Pocketables, theITBaby, and is an IT consultant along with doing tech support for a film production company.