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. World traveler

    I have been to ALL of these cities. I truly think NEW YORK takes the most patients to drive. Those cab drivers are nuts.
    They do have good reason to be. Driving alot in N.Y. would drive anyone crazy. LA should be #2

    April 1, 2011 at 9:23 pm | Report abuse |
  2. woundgirl in Vegas

    well if those are accurate I day I somewhat agree with most of it. But my friends you have not lived (or gambled with your life LOL) until you have commuted all over Las Vegas every day for 5 years going from street to street visiting patients as I have. Its a whole lotta mess and the people can't drive ! They think they are at Nascar for the cup and this is why insurance is 10 x the cost and I see at least 8-10 serious accidents just going in the 1st half of my day. STUPIDITY AT IT'S FINEST.

    April 1, 2011 at 9:34 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Enrique

    San Antonio was not on the list and I was amazingly surprised. It has some of the worst traffic, moved here in November, not considering the traffic and even though it has new roads, I can imagine how bad it would be without them. So, I vote for San Antonio.

    April 10, 2011 at 11:41 pm | Report abuse |
  4. JIM


    April 11, 2011 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
  5. matt (dc area resident)

    I went to chicago three times recently, I thought weaving out of their "traffic" wasnt nearly as bad as our beltway and street system here in dc. It looked to me as though most people take public transportation because that's a city that actually has its s**t together.

    That's what you get when you design a city to look pretty on a map and have an overpriced monorail as a "train" system, eh?

    May 10, 2011 at 1:37 am | Report abuse |
  6. justme23

    Why is Philadelphia not on this list? The traffic here is horrendous. Too many one lane, narrow, steep inclines.

    June 22, 2011 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Mike

    Los Angeles to me is still the worse. Think about it. Most other cities have one or two freeways that are real bad during peak periods...okay, that's fine. LA has 41 Freeways and Interstates that are consistantly bad most hours of the day. I guarantee that if you drove through DC at Midnight it would be a piece of cake...try that on the 405, or the 101 in LA for example and you are STILL sitting in a parking lot. LA has as many freeways as Chicago and Houston combined and even with all those extra roads traffic is still bad.

    August 3, 2011 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andi

      Amen. DC traffic is hell, but if you leave early enough and don't head south on I-95 towards NOVA till after 7/8pm you're fine. But then again, who the hell is gonna do that...

      Never been to L.A, but from what I hear its traffic 24/7 ...

      September 27, 2011 at 1:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Danny

      I've never been to L.A. I've lived in the D.C area for the past 30 years. We know 495 is nuts.
      I-66,I-270,I-370,I-395,I-295,MD295,VA267,US15,VA7 all these freeways are insane during rush-hour. Try driving through D.C any-time of the day. Try driving the the state highways in Fairfax, Montgomery, and Prince Georges counties.

      October 5, 2011 at 1:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Iolivorde

      to them ” don’t sell it!, GIVE IT AWAY! At first I felt he didn’t get what I meant, then I later explained, that , even huotgh it might hurt like hell to give away what you have sweated to create, you will gain the greatest and most powerful marketing tool of all time and that is ” TRUST ”.Once you have that you can sell you grandmother’s old stockins to absolutely anyone, for real!But you do not have to give your hard work away when you do this, what you give away isthe ” bait ” but that bait MUST have ”workable and usable ” information in order for your prospects through the trust you have ” demonstrated by giving it away free, you have to give them a ” working plan ” that will look like the real product you created but in reality will be like a ” pre-sell ”product, then after is when you sell them your real product the one you have sweated for, then is when you can charge them what ever you like on the grounds that they already now know how good you are because they used your FREE product and now they TRUST YOU WITH THEIR MONEY!All this can easily be acvhieved, many big time gurus do it.Happy New Year amigos!and as Mark always sais:‘ to our success ”Ray Patrick

      March 14, 2012 at 10:49 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Andi


    Don't be silly. Baltimore isn't the D.C metro area. Its like saying Richmond is part of NOVA.

    September 27, 2011 at 1:21 am | Report abuse |
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