America’s back on the road
to gridlock, study reveals
Mar 22, 2011 2:02 PM
INRIX has released its fourth annual INRIX National Traffic Scorecard revealing gridlock and longer commute times returning to America’s roads. Traffic congestion increased nationwide for 11 consecutive months in 2010 with drivers experiencing increased traffic congestion nearly every hour of the day. The 150-plus-page report is available as a free download at http://inrix.com/scorecard/.
“America is back on the road to gridlock,” said Bryan Mistele, INRIX president and chief executive officer. “Population growth combined with increases in interstate commerce spurred by economic recovery are fueling these increases. With only 150,000 new jobs created in our nation’s urban centers last year, we can expect even worse gridlock when the 6 million jobs lost in the recession return to the nation’s cities.”
Despite only modest employment gains in 2010, drivers are experiencing an average 10% increase in travel times. If unemployment drops to 7% by 2012 as economists predict, 9 million more daily work trips will jam the US road network. In fact, 70 of the top 100 most populated cities in the United States are experiencing increases in traffic congestion. Nine cities already have surpassed their 2007 peak. By analyzing traffic on major highways in the nation’s 100 largest metropolitan areas in 2010, the top 10 most congested US cities are:
1. Los Angeles: On Thursday at 5:30 pm, the average trip takes 71% longer than normal.
2. New York: On Friday at 5:15 pm, the average trip takes 47% longer than normal.
3. Chicago: On Friday at 5:15 pm, the average trip takes 41% longer.
4. Washington DC: On Thursday at 5:30 pm, the average trip takes 51% longer than normal.
5. Dallas: On Friday at 5:15 pm, the average trip takes 36% longer than normal.
6. San Francisco: On Thursday at 5:30 pm, the average trip takes 63% longer than normal.
7. Houston: On Friday at 5:15 pm, the average trip takes 33% longer than normal.
8. Boston: On Friday at 5:30 pm, the average trip takes 33% longer than normal.
9. Philadelphia: On Friday at 5:15 pm, the average trip takes 29% longer than normal.
10. Seattle: On Thursday at 5:15 pm, the average trip takes 49% longer than normal.
These cities account for more than half of the nation’s traffic congestion with nine of the top 10 cities experiencing modest increases in traffic congestion in 2010 (Chicago being the lone exception). Of these cities, New York, San Francisco, and Philadelphia experienced increases of almost 20% attributable to rebounds in the technology, healthcare, manufacturing, freight movement, and services sectors that are the backbone of these local economies. In comparing US and European cities, Los Angeles’ freeway system is more congested than that of any other city in the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands.
Nationwide, Americans traveling the nation’s worst traffic corridors experience up to 80 hours of delay annually on the afternoon commute alone. More than 500 miles of roads were congested 25 hours a week or more, and nearly 200 of those miles were congested 40 hours a week or more—higher than any previous year.
Consumers can save time on their daily travels using the INRIX Traffic app for iPhone, iPad, and Android devices. Access the app at http://inrixtraffic.com.
© 2013 Penton Media Inc.
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