This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.
This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.
Los Angeles Has The Worst Traffic On Earth...Literally
In what metric does Los Angeles beat 1,064 other global cities? You guessed it: traffic.
The annual Global Traffic Scorecard, published by INRIX, ranks cities based on hours a typical commuter spends in traffic. Drivers and passengers in our beloved Los Angeles spent an astounding 104 hours last year in congestion traffic. That's four days and eight hours—just sitting in traffic!
Globally, Moscow, Russia, comes in second. Commuters there are subjected to 94 hours a year lost to congestion. New Yorkers spent 89 hours for the year in traffic—that's third internationally, and second in America.
Who has the best commute? Drivers in Gioia del Colle, Italy, (a town of about 28,000 in the heel of the boot) wasted only 2 hours in traffic in 2016. In America, residents of Parkersburg, West Virginia, have it the best—only 3 hours lost to traffic last year.
"Congestion is bad for our wallets and our health, but in one sense it is a good problem to have,” Graham Cookson, chief economist at INRIX, said, notes ABC News. “Roads are the arteries of the economy pumping people and goods around the country. Congestion is the symptom of a rich and prosperous economy."
"Traffic truly is a double-edged sword," added Bob Pishue, a senior economist with the firm. The average driver in the U.S. wasted about 42 hours in traffic in 2016, costing $1,400 in lost productivity, gasoline, and other variables. "The demand for driving is expected to continue to rise, while the supply of roadway will remain flat," said Pishue.