Traffic in Los Angeles Named Worst in America


  • Traffic Study Picture

    Traffic Study Picture

    Drivers in Los Angeles waste an average of 59 hours a year navigating congested roadways. | April 25, 2013

Just the Facts:
  • Los Angeles reclaimed its title from Honolulu as Worst City for Traffic in America in 2012.
  • Rounding out the top ten list behind L.A. and Honolulu are San Francisco; Austin, Texas; Bridgeport, Connecticut; San Jose, California; Seattle; Washington, D.C.; and Boston.
  • Congestion in the United States is back on the rise after two consecutive years of declines, including a 22 percent decrease in 2012.

KIRKLAND, Washington — Los Angeles has reclaimed the dubious distinction of being No. 1 on the Top 10 Worst Cities for Traffic in America in 2012, after falling to number two in 2011 behind Honolulu, according to Inrix's sixth Traffic Scorecard Annual Report.

Drivers in L.A. waste an average of 59 hours a year navigating congested roadways, more than a week-and-a-half of precious time, Inrix, a provider of traffic information and driver services, pointed out.

Rounding out the top 10 list behind L.A. and Honolulu are San Francisco; Austin, Texas; Bridgeport, Connecticut; San Jose, California; Seattle; Washington, D.C.; and Boston.

Los Angeles' uptick in traffic is part of an overall trend nationwide. Congestion in the United States is back on the rise after two consecutive years of declines, including a 22 percent decrease in 2012.

Los Angeles likely took the top spot because Los Angeles County gained approximately 90,000 jobs — a growth rate of 2.3 percent. This is the fastest year-over-year growth in employment across the Los Angeles area since the recession began in 2007, Inrix noted.

"While bad news for drivers, the gains we've seen in the U.S. and a few countries in Europe in 2013 are cause for some optimism about the direction of the economy," said Bryan Mistele, Inrix president and chief executive officer, in a statement.

The Traffic Scorecard also ranked the worst roads for traffic.

California is home to half the top 10. The southbound San Diego Freeway ranks 2nd, sandwiched behind New York's Cross Bronx Expressway at the top spot and the Van Wyck Expressway in 3rd. The Santa Monica Freeway and Riverside rank 4th and 5th. New York's Long Island and Brooklyn Queens expressways come in 6th and 7th. The northbound San Diego Freeway grabs the 8th worst spot, followed by Chicago's Dan Ryan/Kennedy Expressway and back to California for the 10th worst, the Santa Ana/Golden State Freeway.

Inrix also confirmed the worst times to be on the roads. Most delays occur weekday mornings between 7-8 a.m. and weekday evenings between 4-5 p.m. The busiest morning commute hour is Tuesday from 8-9 a.m., and the busiest evening commute takes place on Friday from 5-6 p.m.

Edmunds says: In some areas, there's nothing you can do except take a deep breath and find your place in line.

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