Los Angeles has worst traffic in nation, report says

They say one of the best things about California is you can snowboard, surf, hike a mountain and walk in a desert all in one day.

But on the other end of the spectrum, you can also sit idling in your car for an hour trying to accomplish all those things.


In what will come as a surprise to virtually no Southern California commuter, Los Angeles has once again earned the dubious distinction of having the worst traffic in the United States, according to an annual congestion scorecard.

The report, from data company Inrix, reaffirms what many Angelenos already believe: That L.A. has the worst traffic in the country, that its freeways are among the most crowded, and that the worst time of the week to drive home is Friday afternoon.


The average Los Angeles driver spent 59 hours sitting in traffic in 2012, or about 2 1/2 days, the data showed.

In Honolulu, the second-worst city and a previous traffic jam winner, drivers wasted about nine hours less.

Two other California cities also ranked in the bad-congestion top 10: San Francisco was third, and San Jose was seventh.

On Friday afternoons, the Inrix study revealed, it takes the average Los Angeles commuter more than an hour to get home.


Los Angeles also is home to 35 of the 162 most-congested sections of highway in the country.

And four freeways are in the country’s 10 most congested: The southbound 405, the eastbound 10, the northbound 405 and the southbound 5 Freeway.

Analysts have long said the state of the economy is linked to how much traffic is on the road. When there are more jobs, it’s said, more people drive.

Traffic got worse in 2012, Inrix said, because Los Angeles added about 90,000 jobs.


Inrix is a data company that tracks and analyzes traffic data, and provides a popular smartphone application that allows drivers to see where and why routes are clogged.

One bright spot in the report: A 13-mile segment of the northbound 405 between the 105 Freeway and Getty Center Drive dropped from the most-congested freeway in the country to the eighth most congested. The freeway now has carpool lanes.

To top it all off, traffic isn’t likely to improve, the study says. In the first part of 2013, congestion increased 6% over the previous year. Nationally, traffic also increased after a two-year decline.


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