To the surprise of no one who drives on Southland freeways, the Los Angeles metro area was ranked as the nation’s most congested region in a study released Wednesday, with drivers spending an average of 81 hours stuck in traffic in 2015.
According to the study by INRIX Inc., based in Kirkland, Washington, Los Angeles easily bested the nation’s second-most-congested metro areas, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco, where motorists spent roughly 75 hours idling in traffic last year. Houston, Texas, ranked fourth at 74 hours and New York City placed fifth at 73 hours.
Nationally, motorists spent a total of 8 billion hours stuck in traffic in 2015, with the report’s authors noting that U.S. cities face major challenges to resolve congestion issues.
The report found that an improving economy is a major factor in increased congestion, with more people on roadways heading to work — but the resulting traffic problems lead to increased stress and reduced productivity.
Globally, Los Angeles ranks second on the congestion list, behind only London, which averaged 101 hours of delay per motorist, according to the report.
The study also identified the top 10 worst stretches of roadway across the globe, and four of them are in Los Angeles:
— the Ventura/Hollywood (101) Freeway from Topanga Canyon boulevard to Vignes Street;
— the 101 Freeway between the Pomona (60) Freeway and Haskell Avenue;
— the Santa Monica (10) Freeway between 20th and Alameda streets; and
— the Golden State (5) Freeway between Cesar Chavez and Valley View avenues.
The INRIX study is based on traffic speed data collected on more than 1.3 million miles of urban streets and highways.