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.
Bridgeport, a city located in the southwestern corner of Connecticut, has a few stretches of highway heading southbound (which is actually west, toward New York City) that can set you back hours if you don't time them correctly. The city is a major throughway for commuters that live in Connecticut and work in New York, making I-95 a parking lot during rush hour. Bridgeport drivers spent about 42 hours in traffic on average in 2013, up three hours from 2012.
Worst Corridor: I-95 between exits 3 and 21, a stretch of more than 22 miles.
Worst Hour: Fridays at 5 p.m.
Travel Tip: Metro North Railroad and Amtrak both offer train routes along the Connecticut shoreline. Or, take the whipping Merritt Parkway, if you dare.
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