Which cities have the worst traffic?
Commuters sit in traffic in Chicago, Illinois in Septeber 2010.
January 20th, 2011
10:15 AM ET

Which cities have the worst traffic?

Drivers in the Chicago and Washington, D.C., metro areas spend the most time stuck in traffic, according to an annual analysis of the nation’s traffic trends.

Commuters in those two cities spent an average of 70 hours stuck in traffic in 2009, according to the 2010 Urban Mobility Report, published by the Texas Transportation Institute at Texas A&M University.

Southern California – the Los Angeles, Long Beach and Santa Ana metro area – was third with an average of 63 hours spent stuck in traffic.

Chicago commuters lost the most money to the delays, $1,738, according to the survey, while D.C. commuters wasted the most gas, 57 gallons each.

The top 10 cities for traffic delays in 2009:

1st - (tie) Chicago, Washington, D.C. – 70 hours
3rd - Southern California – 63 hours
4th - Houston – 58 hours
5th - San Francisco-Oakland – 49 hours
6th - (tie) Dallas-Fort Worth, Boston – 48 hours
8th - Atlanta, Seattle – 44 hours
10th - New York- Newark – 42 hours

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Filed under: U.S.
soundoff (123 Responses)
  1. hugo torres

    L.A. is not that bad!!

    January 20, 2011 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • NaomiC

      Youare right, Hugo. The freeways are actually pretty easy to navigate and the on/off ramps make sense. I'd rather drive in LA than in Chicago or DC where nothing is intuitive, drivers are more aggressive, and if you take the wrong exit you end up driving 10 miles on surface streets before you come to another on-ramp

      January 20, 2011 at 7:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • southerCA

      um, have you been through LA lately? I drove up 405, then 10, then 60 all of which were terrible. I didn't get above 25 until east LA and then it still took me forever and a day to get home.

      March 29, 2011 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
  2. k stacy

    I lived in chicago burbs for 3 yrs and traffic to the city was hellatious on a daily basis. Although i loved the windy city i would rather live in hoosier country....

    January 20, 2011 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Larry

    I love the picture for the article. Next to all the cars sitting in bumper to bumper traffic is a train just flying by. Hint, hint.

    January 20, 2011 at 6:04 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Paul

      I'd rather be in my personal warm car than suffer in the squalor feted disease carrying sewer hole that is public transport. Sitting in traffic is worth it to avoid that indignity.

      I lost more time off and productivity waiting for public transport, missing buses or trains or having them not show up, getting sick regularly with colds and flu's and whatnot from the filthy conditions on public transport then I will ever lose sitting in traffic with my car.

      In my car I can actually plan on doing things, go where I want to go, not have to conform to a schedule, deal with hygienic body odor challenged louts, hippies, punters, greentards, dial a dopers, manner less, teenagers, packed conditions, change bumming bum and miserable unionized employee's.

      January 20, 2011 at 6:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jon

      The train pictured there, the blue line, comes about every 3 minutes during rush hour. There is little reason to drive in Chicago and a lot of people don't bother to own cars at all.

      January 20, 2011 at 10:03 pm | Report abuse |
  4. LmD

    You people are morons! Who cares?

    January 20, 2011 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • U.R. SoSimple

      STFU idiot.

      January 21, 2011 at 2:44 am | Report abuse |
  5. KB

    Nashville Tn should b on the list. nav thru there 1 time!

    January 20, 2011 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. kcm

    for north american cities overall I would say Toronto has horrible congestion. Probably some of the worst in North America and Canada!

    January 20, 2011 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  7. mstipton

    I'm not surprised at Seattle being on there. They always make the worst traffic list.
    Because of the topography Seattle is surrounded on two sides by water. There is little they can do to make I5 wider through downtown.

    January 20, 2011 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. The_Mick

    When I began teaching at a school several miles from my home the interstate was almost empty at 6:30 am when I drove there. When I retired in 2006 I couldn't get out of the slow lane from the time I entered it to the time I exited. We really need someone to think outside the box and develop a new public transportation strategy which doesn't cause an extra hour's delay.

    January 20, 2011 at 7:08 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Noway

    The country infrastucture has been horrible for the past 10 years and crumbled and the gov't isn't taking it seriously. Giving contracts to crooks who under bid but the OT send the projects into billion dollar status.

    We need to stop being so money hungry as the country collapses around us. I predict more bridges, tunnels and street collasping...and then where will we be...DEAD!

    January 20, 2011 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Timothy Lutrell

      correct, because of Bush, the Super Wealthy quit investing in America and tucked tail for China in the name of Greed. No big Companies, means no tax income. Simple Economics. Big Businesses Sold out the United States.. the day is coming that America will Bankrupt due to everything moving out of the United States in the name of Greed.

      January 20, 2011 at 9:26 pm | Report abuse |
  10. WishIWontheLottery

    Traffic is getting worse in this country and Obama hasn't done a thing about it. Libtards keep whining about gas consumption, but look at all these cities, they're all libtard bastions.

    January 20, 2011 at 7:29 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • ZCups

      You are an idiot and a hypocrite. You want it fixed but you blow your top when somebody proposes a tax to make your roads, bridges, etc. safe. And oh yeah, tell me what W did to fix the problem, oh wait, I forgot, there was no traffic 2 years ago [sarcasm font]! While your at it why don't you whine about education and how we are falling behind other countries. What pays for that smart guy? But no Obama can't fix that because you would rather have us all be under educated because you don't want to pay for it. I hope you can see the developing trend here or perhaps I need to draw you a picture you likely won't understand in the first place so I am just going to go back to work so I can pay my taxes and contribute to our land......

      January 20, 2011 at 7:50 pm | Report abuse |
  11. tracy

    houston is the worst and has been the last 10 years

    January 20, 2011 at 7:38 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Andrea

    Los Angeles is Southern California. I am not suprised it was #2. It would take up to 4 hours sometimes to go 35 miles. Horrible!!! That's why I moved!

    January 20, 2011 at 8:36 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Whitney

    I live in Boston – and SOLD MY CAR! The traffic is insane – why drive and pay $150 a month to park at home and another $220 a month to park at work when you can just take the subway?

    January 20, 2011 at 8:52 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  14. smart guy

    You guys are clearly living at home with your mom because this is what you spend time for while im bustin my butt providing for you im a farmer go take a happy pill and go get a life

    January 20, 2011 at 8:57 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Timothy Lutrell

      I thank our Farmers in America. We need more of them, and less food and agriculture imports. Hopefully soon, the Biofuel industry will make the Farmers Occupation very desirable and put money in the hands of our Farmers, not in Oil producing nations that do nothing but fund terrorism.

      January 20, 2011 at 9:19 pm | Report abuse |
  15. MICHAEL

    I live in Miami and spend on average, in traffic per day – 1-2 hours for my commute. That is between 200-260 hours in traffic per year – sitting. I don't know who conducted this study – but I know that south Florida should have made the list. This is why I am leaving this area – it is the worst!

    January 20, 2011 at 9:59 pm | Report abuse | Reply
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