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.
Boston is highly aware of its traffic issues. After all, the Big Dig was proposed in the early 1980s to help solve just that. The project was abandoned in 2007, though, and things have just gotten worse. Bostonian drivers spent about 38 hours in traffic on average last year, up seven hours from 2012. With only a few major roads going into the city from the surrounding suburbs (which are huge), public transit is recommended.
Worst Corridor: I-93 between exits 6 and 15 (essentially, south of the city between Old and Inner Harbor).
Worst Hour: Wednesdays at 8 a.m.
Travel Tip: Take the T. As of 2012, there are no longer those strange, Medieval tokens, and the system is easy to navigate. If you must drive and are coming into the city from the south, try Route 28.
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