Stop cleaning out the garage

News AASHTO Journal May 09, 2001
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Officials of Richland Township, Pa

Officials of Richland Township, Pa., say traffic congestion is among the reasons they've passed an ordinance limiting garage sales to four a year per address.

"It was getting so people were having them every weekend, and that can test people's patience," said William Harris, a supervisor in the township where the ordinance took effect last week.

"It got so bad that it got hard to get through with my car," said Shirley Leventry, a retired secretary, in a report by The Associated Press. "It made me late for an appointment one day."

In another Pennsylvania jurisdiction, Saegertown, the town curbed excess garage-sale traffic by slanting one day each summer for a town-wide garage sale. This year's is scheduled for July 21, and three-fourths of the households in town are expected to participate.

A study released by the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) claims the average person spends 36 hours a year sitting in traffic.

The data was compiled by 11 state highway departments and covered 68 urban areas. According to TTI, congestion costs an estimated $78 billion a year in wasted time and burned gasoline.

The most congested highways in the country were found in Los Angeles, where residents in 1999 averaged 56 hours a year.

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