10 Worst Cities for Traffic

Is your community on the list?

by: Linda Kulman | from: AARP | April 1, 2011

If you feel like you've been spending more teeth-gnashing time than ever in your car, you're probably right - driving time nationwide jumped 10 percent last year. The fourth annual National Traffic Scorecard released by INRIX, a leading provider of traffic information and services, shows that congestion grew in 2010 because of a combination of the country's burgeoning population and the rebounding economy. Now, Americans traveling the worst traffic corridors spend up to 80 extra hours a year in their car during their afternoon commute alone.

Congested traffic

Is gridlock a problem in your city? - Getty Images

See also: Most dangerous cities for driving.

According to the scorecard, 70 of the 100 most populated U.S. cities saw a bump in traffic. And fasten your seat belt: If the jobless rate falls to 7 percent by 2012, as some economists expect, the newly employed will make 9 million more daily commuting trips, adding to the gridlock.

Most Congested Cities
Here's a list of the 10 most congested cities in the United States, based on an analysis of traffic on major highways in the 100 largest metropolitan areas. These cities account for more than half of U.S. traffic bottlenecks.

Worst Time of Day to Drive  
1. Los Angeles
Thursday - 5:30 p.m.   
2. New York
Friday - 5:15 p.m.
3. Chicago
Friday - 5:15 p.m.   
4. Washington, D.C.
Thursday - 5:30 p.m.
5. Dallas
Friday - 5:15 p.m.
6. San Francisco
Thursday - 5:30 p.m.   
7. Houston            
Friday - 5:15 p.m.
8. Boston Friday - 5:30 p.m.
9. Philadelphia Friday - 5:15 p.m.
10. Seattle     
Thursday - 5:15 p.m.

INRIX's tip to drivers? Know before you go. The afternoon rush hours on Thursdays and Fridays are generally the most congested. If you're flexible, keep the following best and worst commuting days and times in mind before pulling out of your driveway:

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