Think you know which cities have the worst congestion in North America? You might be surprised at some that rank in the top 10 – not the least of which is the fact that three of them are in Canada, not in the U.S.
But there’s probably not much disagreement that the worst congested city on the list is Los Angeles, no matter what traffic tool or survey you look at. Here, however, we’re posting the results of the Tom Tom 2012 Congestion Index for North America which looks at congestion levels in 26 metropolitan areas in the region.
Using Los Angeles as an example: the report finds that, on average, travel times in the City of Angels take 33 percent longer when the city traffic is free-flowing and 77 percent longer during the evening rush hour.
Here are the 10 Worst Congested Cities in North America:
1. Los Angeles, California – 33 percent
2. Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada – 30 percent
3. Miami , Florida– 26 percent
4. Seattle, Washington – 25 percent
5. Tampa, Florida – 25 percent
6. San Francisco, California – 25 percent
7. Washington, D.C. – 24 percent
8. Houston, Texas – 23 percent
9. Toronto, Ontario, Canada- 22 percent
10. Ottawa, Ontario, Canada – 22 percent
The report also shows that, of the cities on the top 10 list, Miami, Seattle, Tampa, San Francisco and Houston, in the U.S., and Ottawa in Canada are increasing in congestion. Washington, D.C. and Toronto are decreasing, while Los Angeles and Vancouver are at the same levels of congestion as the same time period (January through March) of 2011.
Other interesting facts can be gleaned by looking at the individual city reports of the 26 cities on the list (the total number of cities in the North American Congestion Index). In Los Angeles, for example, the total delays per year for a 30-minute commute amount to a staggering 92 hours wasted in traffic. Imagine what you could do more productively with those 92 hours.
Third-place Miami tallies up a total of 74 hours wasted annually per 30-minute commute. For Seattle, it’s 84 hours, San Francisco 81 hours, Houston 80 hours, Washington, D.C. 76 hours, and Tampa 73 hours. As for the Canadian cities on the worst congested cities in North America list, the average 30-minute commute annual delay times are as follows: Ottawa at 90 hours, 83 hours for Vancouver, and 78 hours in Toronto.
Where do some of the other major U.S. cities rank on the list? Atlanta ranks #11, San Diego, California is #13, Chicago, Illinois is #14, New York, New York is #15, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is #17, Dallas, Texas is #18, Boston, Massachusetts is #19, and Boston is #20. Rounding out the U.S. cities on the list of 26 most congested are: Baltimore, Maryland (#20), Riverside, California (#21), Phoenix, Arizona (#22), St. Louis, Missouri (#24), Detroit, Michigan (#25), and Minneapolis, Minnesota (#26).
Where does your city rank? If you’re stuck long periods in traffic, you might want to consider alternate routing through GPS navigation services to ease your mind and get you where you need to be sooner.