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New report shows traffic jams across US cities are surging

A new report says traffic is worsening in parts of the U.S. with typical drivers losing 42 hours and over $700 due to congestion in 2023.
Pedestrians cross Delancey Street as congested traffic
Posted at 4:04 PM, Jun 26, 2024

America's gridlock is worse than ever. A new report says traffic is worsening in parts of the U.S., with typical drivers losing 42 hours and over $700 due to congestion in 2023.

Researchers also say a new, maddening phenomenon is taking hold: the midday rush hour.

Transportation analytics company INRIX released its 2023 global traffic scorecard this week and while New York City traffic eased last year, it still topped the rankings as the most congested city in the world.

In the U.S., Chicago and Los Angeles held onto their second- and third-place rankings from 2022 as the most congested cities, increasing their average time in traffic to 96 and 89 hours, respectively.

The top three busiest corridors in the U.S. are I-4 West in Orlando, Florida, I-5 South in Los Angeles, and I-95 North in Stamford, Connecticut. But the report says delays have generally improved since 2022.

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Bob Pishue, who co-authored the INRIX report says a new, midday rush hour emerged last year, with average hourly traffic at noon jumping 23% from 2019.

"[Workers aren't] leaving for the office at seven or six in the morning like in the past, so we're seeing that kind of demand to go to work shift to the midday," said Pishue.

Skyler McKinley, the regional director of public affairs for AAA, says cities are working on ways to incentivize people to ditch their cars and shift to public transit.

"This is one reason why you see conversations, as there was just one in New York City, about congestion pricing for the urban core," he said. "We've seen in the American West, for example, a lot of success with park-and -ides."

And he adds we can all help clear the streets.

"Remember, you can't be mad at traffic — you are traffic."