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.
5. New York
Between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., traffic around the five boroughs is almost unavoidable. New York City drivers spent an average of 53 hours in traffic last year, up three hours from 2012. The reasons are fairly obvious: It's become extremely expensive to live in Manhattan and now, most of Brooklyn, so a large number of people live in the suburbs and commute in. But few New Yorkers bother with cars. If you're living and working in the New York area and haven't exhausted your options for public transit, try again. It's worth it.
Worst Corridor: The Cross Bronx Expressway between Baychester Avenue and I-87/Exit 1
Worst Hour: Fridays at 3 p.m.
Travel Tip: Train. Between MTA, Amtrak, Jersey Transit and PATH, there's a slew of ways to get into the city without enduring the Lincoln Tunnel.
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