America's 20 Largest Cities, Ranked By Hours Wasted In Traffic

Published On 12/11/2014 Published On 12/11/2014

If you've never actually thought about how much time you waste in traffic—and you believe that ignorance is bliss—you should probably stop reading right this second.

Recently at Texas A&M University, researchers compiled data traffic on congestion in the United States. The chief takeaway? If you drive a car to work, chances are good you're spending at least one full work week stuck in traffic each year. An entire week!

So with this depressing news, I sifted through the data and created my own compilation. Below, the 20 largest American metropolitan areas (as of 2011) ranked by average amount of hours, per year, stuck in traffic. Oh, LA. 

[Ed's note: Don't see your city on the list? That's a good thing! But if you're curious where it ranks, here's the entire data set: United States Department of Transportation.] 

Jeramey Jannene

20. St. Louis, 31 Hours

Dustin Gaffke

19. Minneapolis-St.Paul, 34 Hours

Alan Stark

18. Phoenix, 35 Hours

David Hilgart

17. San Diego, 37 Hours

John Picken

16. Tampa-St. Petersburg, 38 Hours

Bryan Debus

15. Detroit, 40 Hours

Joe Wolf

14. Baltimore, 41 Hours

Marc Samsom

T-12. Denver, 45 Hours

Iain Farrell

T-12. Dallas-Fort Worth, 45 Hours

Gabriel Kaplan

11. Miami, 47 Hours


T-9. Seattle, 48 Hours

Dave Zawrotny

T-9. Philadelphia, 48 Hours

Matt Lemmon

T-7. Atlanta, 51 Hours

Steven Vance

T-7. Chicago, 51 Hours

Katie Haugland

6. Houston, 52 Hours

Robbie Shade

5. Boston, 53 Hours


4. New York City, 59 Hours

T-2. San Francisco, 61 Hours

Latitude News

T-2. Los Angeles, 61 Hours


1. Washington DC, 67 Hours

Conclusion: Surprisingly, San Francisco has worse traffic than NYC, and Seattle made the top 10, tying with Philly. Also: props to Tampa and Minneapolis, who, given their respective city sizes, seem to have some semblance of a balanced infrastructure. 

Aaron Miller is the Rides editor for Supercompressor, and can be found on Twitter. He once hopped a bus from DC to rush hour, and left the experience with such fond memories.



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