If you can’t fathom a fate more hellish than sitting in traffic for hours on end, you may want to avoid Los Angeles. Sorry for those of you already there - maybe you're stuck in traffic while you're reading this.
The southern California city was the global leader in urban congestion last year, according to a new study by transportation analytics researcher INRIX.
In its annual traffic review that included 1,064 cities in 38 countries, INRIX found that Los Angeles residents spent an average of 104 hours – or about 12.7 percent of their total drive time – stuck in traffic jams last year. The study claims that the cost of congestion, when measured in wasted time and fuel, works out to about $9.7-billion for Los Angeles and $2,408 per driver.
INRIX senior economist Bob Pishue points to economic growth and low fuel prices as factors contributing to congestion in U.S. cities like Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco.
“In LA the unemployment rate drop was the sixth-largest drop in the country among metro areas, and real GDP growth rose 4 percent,” said Pishue. “We’re seeing a definite impact of an improving economy on an already strained road system.”
Motorists in Moscow came in second for the most time spent sitting in traffic at 91 hours per year. Unsurprisingly, New York came in third at 89 hours a year, followed by San Francisco at 83 hours. Bogota, Colombia, came in fifth place at 80 hours per year.
Pishue hopes the results from this latest review provide insight to governments looking to come up with long-term solutions for congestion.
“We want to kickstart a conversation with cities and states about this – and what to do about it.”