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Los Angeles ranks most congested city in US

March 8, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
Los Angeles has been ranked the most congested city in America, according to a new traffic study.

The study, which was conducted by traffic data service INRIX, states that traffic congestion is up in the country's 100 largest metropolitan areas and experts say it's only going to get worse.

INRIX said Los Angeles' freeway system is more congested than that of any other city in the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands.

Metro areas saw an 11-percent increase in traffic congestion in 2010. That number is expected to grow as the job market rebounds and more people start driving to work.

"What we're beginning to see now, at least anecdotally, is that some jobs are coming back, we're seeing traffic come back as well," said Steve Finnegan, manager of government relations for the Automobile Club of Southern California.

Dr. Nancy Sidhu, chief economist in the Kyser Center for Economic Research of the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation, said all the congestion is a good sign for the economy.

"I view the increasing congestion and all the traffic we have in L.A. as a sign of health in the economy," she said.

A government report shows Americans drove 20.5 billion miles more last year than in 2009.

When evaluating Los Angeles, INRIX said drive times at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday in the city take 71 percent longer than normal.

For commuters in San Francisco and Washington, it's more than 50 percent longer.

Other cities that made the list are New York, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Boston, Philadelphia and Seattle.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.