It’s Official: Los Angeles Traffic is the World’s Worst

Los Angeles Traffic (Jae C. Hong / Associated Press)
Jae C. Hong / Associated Press

Los Angeles officially has the worst traffic in the world, a new study has revealed.

Global traffic research firm INRIX reports that Angelenos spent an average of 104 hours stuck in traffic in 2016.

The study also notes that traffic and congestion costs each Los Angeles driver “$2,408 each and the city as a whole $9.6 billion from direct and indirect costs. Direct costs relate to the value of fuel and time wasted, and indirect costs refer to freight and business fees from company vehicles idling in traffic, which are passed on to households through higher prices.”

INRIX noted that Moscow, Russia has the world’s second worst traffic congestion, with commuters in that city spending an average of 91 hours sitting in gridlocked vehicles. Manhattan, New York placed third internationally and second place in America with 89 hours. San Francisco, California placed fourth (83 hours); Bogota, Colombia was fifth (80 hours); and Sao Paulo, Brazil sixth (77 hours).

However, when it came to listing the most congested countries in the world, Thailand came in fist place, with 61 hours of traffic per driver per year. Colombia and Indonesia tied for second place with 47 hours, and Russia and the United States tied for fourth place with 42 hours.

“Congestion is bad for our wallets and our health, but in one sense it is a good problem to have,” INRIX Chief Economist Graham Cookson wrote in a blog post Friday. “Roads are the arteries of the economy pumping people and goods around the country. Congestion is the symptom of a rich and prosperous economy.”

In his post, Cookson pointed to London as one of several cities that have used technology and sensors to improve traffic conditions. “This ‘SCOOT’ technology has been rolled out at 80% of London’s 6,000 traffic lights and is proven to reduce delays at junctions by 13% on average, generating over £100,000 in user benefits at every junction every year,” he wrote. He added that INRIX is involved in tracking the results of the next generation of “SCOOT” technology.

Not all the cities in the world are traffic prone. LAist pointed out that “Drivers in Gioia del Colle, Italy, (a town of about 28,000 in the heel of the boot) wasted only 2 hours in traffic in 2016.” LAist added: “In America, residents of Parkersburg, West Virginia, have it the best — only 3 hours lost to traffic last year.”

Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter and Periscope @AdelleNaz


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