If you’re stuck in gridlock right now (hopefully as a passenger) here’s a not-so-fun fact: The U.S. is home to five of the 10 most traffic-clogged cities in the latest tally by traffic management company Inrix. More shocking is this little nugget: Americans spent 8 billion hours last year doing just what you’re doing. Eight. Billion.
Surveying data from 100 metropolitan areas in the U.S. and Europe, only London beat out (if that’s the right word) the most gridlocked U.S. cities in terms of average total hours commuters wasted in traffic last year.
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The Inrix 2015 Traffic Scorecard found the average London commuter wasted 101 hours. Car-focused Los Angeles followed at 81 hours. Washington, D.C., and San Francisco tied at 75 hours, narrowly beating out Houston (74 hours) and New York (73 hours). Seattle, Boston, Chicago, Atlanta, and Honolulu rounded out the top (bottom?) 10.
It’s interesting to locals that Boston, with just 64 hours of average commuter delay per year, came in sixth. Maybe the Big Dig was worth it after all?
Other European cities with lousy commutes included Stuttgart, Germany (73 hours); Antwerp, Belgium (71 hours); and Cologne, Germany (71 hours).
Inrix, based in Kirkland, Wash., uses its own and Federal Highway Administration data to compile results that can help cities and federal government track the impact of smart city projects geared to lessen gridlock and improve mass transit and walkability.