Washington, D.C., beat out commuting misery stalwarts Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York for the dubious honor of worst rush hour congestion in the country, a nationwide traffic study found.

Rush hour congestion adds 82 hours of suffering each year to the average commute around Washington, D.C., according to the study by Texas A&M Transportation Institute and Inrix, a Kirkland, Wash., company that analyzes travel data. Other cities plagued by gridlock include Los Angeles, where motorists spend an extra 80 hours commuting, San Francisco with its 78 hours of delays, and New York with 74 hours.

Overall, drivers lose nearly 7 billion hours each year to traffic congestion – an average of 42 hours per commuter – and waste 3 billion gallons of fuel, according to the 2015 Urban Mobility Scorecard.

“I think it’s pretty clear people are frustrated,” Tim Lomax, a co-author of the report at the institute, told USA TODAY. “It’s not just the average time. It’s that you have to plan around 45 minutes for a trip that ought to take 15 or 20.”

The average delay has doubled since 1985, the study found. For cities with less than 500,000 people, delays have quadrupled, the study found. By 2020, average delays will grow to 47 hours and the total delay will climb to 8.3 billion hours, the study projected.


We didn’t need a study to tell us we were the worst but it sure is nice to have documentation.

2 Thoughts to “Gridlock: Study names DC as the worst commuter traffic in U.S”

  1. Cargosquid

    I am constantly telling people alternate ways to bypass the Mixing Bowl.

  2. Scout

    In seasons where there’s enough daylight, I occasionally commute to downtown DC from the Vienna area by bicycle. It about 13 miles each way, I think. There’s a counter display in Rosslyn that typically shows around 1,500 cyclists having passed each day when I go by. That’s not bad, really. if that takes 1,000 to 1,500 cars off the road, that’s not nuthin’. So much more could be done at relatively low levels of investment to encourage people to cycle to work within a ten-mile radius of the Capitol.

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