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.
Inrix pegs I-5 as the most clogged road in Seattle, and it's obvious why: The highway runs north-south through the heart of the city. Seattle drivers spent an average of 37 hours in traffic in 2013, many of which were surely concentrated on a the stretch of I-5 north of the city between Shoreline and Queen Anne.
Worst Corridor: I-5 between North 130th Street and Union Street.
Worst Hour: Fridays at 4 p.m.
Travel Tip: Since most of the traffic is in the suburbs just north of the city, try swapping I-5 for Route 99 which runs almost parallel into downtown.
Credit: Aaron Morris / Getty Images