One surprise resulting from a world-wide study conducted by the global traffic research firm INRIX, is that Manhattan placed third, not first, in the list of the world’s worst traffic congested cities.
First place honors go to Los Angeles, with Moscow, Russia, coming in a close second.
The INRIX Global Traffic Scorecard analyzes and ranks the 2016 impact of congestion at all times of the day, across 5 continents, 38 countries and 1,064 cities. On average, Americans spent an hour a week stuck in traffic jams during their commutes, with Los Angeles commuters almost doubling that time period to 100 hours a year.
Los Angeles also switched first place with Moscow from the 2015 traffic analysis, and New York jumped from eighth place in 2015 to third in 2016. Besides Los Angeles and New York, two other U.S. cities ranked in the top ten – San Francisco (4th), and Atlanta (9th).
The study also notes that sitting in traffic costs each Los Angeles driver $2,408 per year, based on the direct value of fuel and time wasted, and the community as a whole losing $9.6 billion in indirect costs relating to freight and business fees from company vehicles idling in traffic.
The increased costs are then passed on to consumers. The city in America with the least amount of traffic delays is Parkersburg, West Virginia, with commuters held up in traffic totaling only 3 hours in 2016.
In a blog post about the release of the study, INRIX Chief Economist Graham Cookson offered a somewhat optimistic take on the traffic situation. “Congestion is bad for our wallets and our health, but in one sense it is a good problem to have. Roads are the arteries of the economy pumping people and goods around the country. Congestion is the symptom of a rich and prosperous economy.”
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