For anyone who has ever spent time in Los Angeles, the fact that the city has the nation’s worst traffic congestion is hardly a shock. The city has a horrible mass transit system that all but forces nearly every adult resident of the city to drive on a daily basis in order to get anywhere.
The report was released today by TomTom, a Dutch company that sells GPS navigation devices, and other mapping products that include real-time traffic data. The study shows that the average driver in L.A spends around 90 hours a year stuck in snarling traffic that is also partly responsible for the city’s repugnant air and smog problems though the same smog does make for beautiful sunsets according to residents that want to say something positive.
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This is the Dutch company’s fourth annual report and it found fellow California city San Francisco to be the second worst spot in the country with Honolulu, Seattle, and San Jose following the “leaders.”
In addition to taking the top spot, congestion in Los Angeles was up 2% in 2013 taking it to the highest levels it has seen since Tom Tom began doing its study. Those 90 hours that Los Angeles drivers spend in traffic is based on a half-an-hour commute to work.
The report when on to say that the worst times for driving in Los Angeles are Tuesday mornings and Thursday evenings. Most cities with traffic delays also struggle with Thursday evenings. The best time, if there is such a thing, for driving in Los Angeles is on Friday mornings and Monday evenings with the biggest difficulties coming on the west side of the the city including the choke points of: La Cienega and Venice Boulevard south of I-10; I-405 north of I-10; and I-10 west of I-405.
How it was measured and some relief for Los Angeles
Tom Tom said its study, which used GPS-based measurements of traffic, compared travel times during peak periods of congestion with travel times measured when roads were flowing freely. The difference was expressed as an average percentage increase in travel time for each city.
The study also included traffic data for South America in addition to North America. It’s here that Los Angeles drivers can take some comfort as it’s only the 4th worst traffic when these areas are added. Los Angeles’ 36% congestion level falls behind Rio de Janeiro’s 55%, Mexico City’s 54%, and Sao Paulo’s 46% congestion rates.