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Study ranks L.A. as most congested in U.S.

February 23, 2010 12:31:02 AM PST
It's no surprise. A new study shows traffic congestion in Los Angeles is worse than any other city in the country.L.A. drivers waste the most amount of time stuck in traffic, and of all the bottlenecks in the country, the northbound 101 Freeway at Los Angeles Street in downtown is ranked No. 7 in the country, according to INRIX's 2009 National Traffic Scorecard.

"It's getting worse every year. It used to take maybe 40 minutes, now it's taking definitely an hour to get to work," said Ana Martin Del Campo, who commutes from La Puente to downtown L.A.

INRIX tracks traffic times by monitoring GPS devices in more than 1.5 million vehicles. The company found that commute times, which had dropped in 2008 were back on the rise in 2009, as the country crept out of the recession.

The study shows that despite the bad economy, traffic increased 2 percent from 2008 through 2009, thoroughly freezing important freeway arteries. The INRIX study indicates the average commuter in Los Angeles wastes 86 hours a year stuck in traffic.

The worst time to be on the roads is Thursdays between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m., according to the study. At that time, a driver on the 110 North at 8th Street is moving an average of just 6 miles per hour.

While the evening commute worsens, the study claims congestion has eased during the morning rush hour nationwide. One reason is that more people are out of work and not driving.

According to the report, the Top 10 most congested cities in 2009 were:

  1. Los Angeles
  2. New York City
  3. Chicago
  4. Washington, D.C.
  5. Dallas, Texas
  6. Houston, Texas
  7. San Francisco
  8. Boston
  9. Seattle
  10. Philadelphia