The average American living in one of the 10 most congested cities in the U.S. wasted about 47 hours in traffic last year – roughly equivalent to 10 minutes per workday or a week's worth of vacation. That's according to a new report from Inrix, a Washington-based traffic-analysis company that studies road congestion in the country's 100 biggest cities. The news isn't all bad, though: Traffic can be a sign that there are more jobs.
"We call it the trafficonomy," says Jim Bak, author of the report. "More activity on the roads means more jobs and consumer spending. So there were slumps from 2008 to 2012, and now, we're seeing signs of life."
And where there are more job opportunities, there is more traffic. So if you're being recruited by a company in Boston, Austin, Bridgeport, or the seven other cities in this list, you might want to take into account the eight days you'll spend with a foot on the brake.
Here are the 10 worst cities to have a morning commute, and a few tips for getting around the gridlock.
A thriving tourism market is one of the reasons traffic plagues Oahu's capital city. The island's steady population increases have caused housing shortages and driven up the prices of homes near the city. That means one thing: more commuters driving downtown from the suburbs. The average Honolulu driver spent 60 hours in traffic last year, up 10 hours from 2012. That's a whopping 30 percent increase in time on the road.
Worst Corridor: Along the H-1 Freeway from Aolele Street to Moanalua Road.
Worst Hour: Thursdays at 5 p.m.
Travel Tip: Traffic is worst between the area near the airport and downtown Honolulu. There aren't many large alternative roads, other than perhaps Route 92, so try to keep your daily travel outside of rush hour, if possible.
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