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Los Angeles remains most gridlocked city

US drivers spend an average of 41 hours a year in traffic during peak hours, which cost them nearly $305bn in 2017

LA holds its place in the survey as most gridlocked city for the sixth year
LA holds its place in the survey as most gridlocked city for the sixth year

The US has emerged as the most congested developed country in the world with Los Angeles topping the list as the most gridlocked city for the sixth consecutive year.


According to Inrix’s annual Global Traffic Scorecard, US drivers spend an average of 41 hours a year battling traffic during peak hours, which cost drivers nearly $305bn in 2017.


The US also had three of the top five most congested cities globally, with New York (tying for second with Moscow) and San Francisco (fifth) costing an economic drain upwards of $2.5bn caused by traffic.


Angelenos spent an average of 102 hours last year in traffic jams during peak congestion hours, costing drivers $2,828 each and the city $19.2bn from direct and indirect costs.


Despite the high costs of congestion in Los Angeles and other cities, US drivers, in general, had it easier than their German counterparts. At $1,770, congestion cost the average German driver 57 per cent more than an American, after adjusting for exchange rates and the cost of living.


Detroit had the lowest cost of congestion among the top 25 US cities, at $1,256 per driver, and ranked among the bottom in all three categories of costs: commuting, business and leisure/other.


“Congestion costs the US hundreds of billions of dollars and threatens future economic growth and lowers our quality of life,” said Dr Graham Cookson, chief economist at Inrix.


“If we’re to avoid traffic congestion becoming a further drain on our economy, we must invest in intelligent transportation systems to tackle our mobility challenges.”


At the global level, Los Angeles topped the list of the world’s most gridlocked cities, with drivers spending 102 peak hours in congestion in 2017, followed by Moscow (91 hours), New York (91 hours), San Francisco (79 hours) and Bogota (75 hours).


Of the 38 countries covered by the 2017 Traffic Scorecard, Thailand leads with the highest average hours spent in peak congestion (56 hours), outranking Indonesia (51 hours) and Columbia (49 hours), followed by Venezuela (42), and the US and Russia both with 41 hours. The UK is positioned 10th with 31 hours.


Among developed nations, US and Russia shared top of the most congested countries in the world.


For the third year in a row, the (I-95) Cross Bronx Expressway in New York City ranked first in the list of worst corridors, with the average driver on the 4.7 mile stretch wasting 118 hours per year in congestion, an increase of 37 per cent over last year.


Three other New York corridors fill out the top 10, but Inrix points out that the NYCDOT has taken various positive actions to improve safety and operations. For example, under NYC’s vision zero programmes the official speed was lowered to reduce traffic fatalities and improve safety for a mix of bicycles, pedestrians, buses, and delivery trucks along local streets.


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