This City Has the Worst Traffic Congestion in the U.S.
Los Angeles has been given the inglorious title of being the most traffic congested city in the U.S.
In the latest TomTom Traffic Index released by the Dutch navigation company, L.A. beats out San Francisco and New York for having the most anger-inducing gridlock, based on a database of over 14 trillion data points from TomTom’s users.
According to the company, Los Angeles had an overall congestion level of 41% last year, an indication of how much extra travel time was needed on highways and non-highways anytime of the day. During peak rush hours, the congestion level spiked: a typical half-hour commute took 81% longer during evening peak periods, and 60% longer during the morning peak.
And for those hoping for some reprieve in Los Angeles, TomTom senior traffic expert Nick Cohn had some bad news: the traffic has been getting worse, as the congestion level has grow 10% over the last seven years.
The reasons could be that even with the 2008 recession factored in, residents in Los Angeles have continued to flood the roads with more cars. “The population has been coming up in the L.A. basin, and density has increased,” Cohn told Fortune. “L.A. been a resistant economy, and we see that in the continual increase of people on the road.”
Another trend Cohn notes is that the increases in traffic congestion has mostly happened on the West Coast, especially in areas where tech industries are flourishing. “For San Francisco and San Jose, that’s where the tech jobs are. You are not seeing a lot of great options for traveling along the the peninsula, where the jobs have been focusing,” Cohn said. One surprising ranking is that of Washington, D.C., which topped a recent study into traffic congestion, but places eighth in TomTom’s list.
Globally, Mexico City has been found to have the worst traffic congestion. That’s followed by Bangkok, Istanbul, and Rio de Janeiro. L.A. is the highest-placed U.S. city with a global ranking of 10.