Transport Theory

Top 10 most congested cities in U.S.

Posting in Cities

Chicago tops the list of congested American cities, according to a report from Carbuzz.

The average Chicago driver spends 70 hours per year stuck in traffic, at a cost of $1,738. The alarming statistic makes Chicago the most congested city in America, according to a study by Carbuzz.

While not entirely scientific (the site says its staff traveled to cities and gathered facts based on personal experiences), the study places Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, Houston, and San Francisco in the top 5 behind Chicago as the country's most congested urban centers.

Notably, despite their extensive public transportation systems, Chicago and Washington, D.C. lead the list of most congested cities. It stands to reason that, were public transit less prevalent in those cities, traffic jams would be far worse.

Among the distressing facts reported in the study, which examined cities around the world as well as in the U.S.:

  • The average U.S. driver spends 2 weeks per year stuck in traffic.
  • 47% of those who participated in the survey said that in the last month, they had to cancel a trip they had planned because of anticipated traffic.
  • The world's worst traffic jam took place in Paris in 1980. It involved 18 million cars and spanned 109 miles.

See the info graphic below for more statistics from Carbuzz's report.

Traffic Jams

via [Carbuzz]

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Channtal Fleischfresser

Contributing Editor

Contributing Editor Channtal Fleischfresser has worked for The Economist, WNET/Channel 13, Al Jazeera English, Wall Street Journal and Associated Press. She holds degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She is based in New York. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure