Nobody enjoys traffic. Unfortunately, congested roads are projected to get worse. Part of the reason is an improved economy. Another reason could be that older roadways are in need of repair, which increases gridlock. Let’s find out which cities are the most affected by traffic jams.
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It’s The Economy
According to a report from Texas A&M University, the economic recovery has led to US commuters spending nearly 7 billion hours sitting in traffic. This is up from 6.4 billion hours in 2010. That translates into about 42 hours lost per commuter per year. Let’s take a look at the six cities with the worst traffic, saving the worst for last.
Number 6: Boston, Massachusetts
In Beantown, plan to spend about 64 hours per year in traffic jams. It will also cost you about $1,388 per year in fuel and lost productivity. The total cost to the region is $3.4 billion, but although this is an enormous cost, it isn’t even 25% of some of the other cities on our list.
Number 5: San Jose, California
Even though the population of San Jose is less than 3 million, it ranks up there with the big boys in traffic numbers. Commuters lose about 67 hours per year in traffic jams. The cost to the commuter runs about $1,422 per year. But at $2.2 billion, total congestion cost in San Jose is actually lower than in Boston.
Number 4: New York-Newark, New York-New Jersey
Urban sprawl has merged this area into one big concrete jungle where congestion rules the day. If you commute in the New York-Newark area, you’re spending about 74 hours per year at a snail’s pace. The total time lost by all commuters in the area is 628.2 million hours, costing $14.7 billion. The price tag per commuter is $1,739 per year.
Number 3: San Francisco, California
Bay area drivers spend 146 million hours per year total stuck in traffic. Despite a high use of public transportation in the area, commuters still lose 78 hours per year due to gridlock. Many residents also ride bikes and walk to work. However, this doesn’t stop traffic from inflicting a $1,675 cost per year on each commuter. The total cost to the area is a whopping $3.1 billion annually.
Number 2: Los Angeles, California
Nearly half of the 20 worst roads for traffic are in the L.A. area alone. Los Angeles rush hour can last up to 8 hours a day which is longer than any other city in the country. Commuters lose an average of 80 hours per year due to traffic congestion; and the total cost is $13.3 billion which is four times more than San Francisco.
Number 1: Washington, D.C.
The nation’s capital surely does not want to be king of the road in this race. But with a total expenditure of $4.6 billion and 204.4 million hours per year, Washington D.C. is the worst city for traffic. The annual cost per commuter also tops the list at $1,834. The combination of time and money lost is a hard pill to swallow for all D.C. area commuters.
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