Traffic Firm Ranks Most Congested Corridors

As you head out of town for Memorial Day weekend, take note of where the nation's most congested corridors and cities are, according to a new study.
by | May 22, 2012 AT 5:00 AM
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It's best to avoid Los Angeles and New York City if you don't enjoy sitting in traffic.

The two cities are home to eight of the nation's top 10 most congested corridors, according to a new study by traffic research firm Inrix. The company released its annual scorecard Tuesday, measuring gridlock in the largest U.S. cities.

A 13-mile stretch of I-405 west of downtown Los Angeles ranked as the most congested corridor, with average delays of 20 minutes in 2011.

Backups are an everyday occurrence on many roadways in sprawling metropolitan areas. The average speed last year was only 14 mph for a portion of the Van Wyck Expressway in New York. Similarly, a stretch of Interstate 379 west of Pittsburgh clocked in with an average speed of just 16 mph.

The firm also scored cities, finding traffic congestion actually dropped in most cities in 2011 after increasing the previous two years. The company attributed the reduction to fewer vehicles clogging roadways because of higher gas prices and a "largely jobless economy."

Honolulu was dubbed the metropolitan area with the nation's worst traffic, with drivers spending an estimated 58 hours in traffic over the course of the year. Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York City had the next-worst traffic, according to the study.

Inrix compiled traffic data from more than 100 million vehicles equipped with GPS devices tracking motorists' location, speed, direction and time.

The firm ranked the worst corridors, shown below, by multiplying the average delay by a separate index measuring the longest commute times during peak periods.

City Miles Roadway Average Time (minutes) Delay (minutes)
Los Angeles 13.1 I-405 Northbound: I-105/Imperial Hwy interchange to Getty Center Dr. 33 20
New York 16 Long Island Expressway Eastbound: Maurice Avenue to Minneola/Willis Avenues 39 22
Los Angeles 14.9 I-10 Eastbound: CA-1/Lincoln Blvd. to Alameda Street 35 20
New York 3.1 Van Wyck Expressway Northbound: Belt Parkway to Main Street, exit 8 13 10
Los Angeles 17.5 I-5 Southbound: E. Caesar Chavez Ave to Valley View Ave. exits 40 22
New York 10.2 Brooklyn Queens Expressway Southbound: NY-25A/Northern Blvd. to NY-27 31 18
Los Angeles 8.1 I-405 Southbound: Nordhoff St. to Mulholland Drive 22 14
New York 6.2 Van Wyck Expressway Southbound: Horace Harding Expy to Linden Blvd 20 13
Pittsburgh 3.4 I-376 Eastbound: PA 50 to US-19/PA-51 13 9
San Francisco 5.8 CA-4 Eastbound: Bailey to Somersville roads 16 11

View the complete list of corridors