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Traffic Congestion in the U.S.: INRIX National Traffic Scorecard Provides Revealing In-Depth Look at America’s Most Frustrating Problem

KIRKLAND, Wash. – June 17, 2008 – INRIX®, the leading provider of traffic information, today released the INRIX National Traffic Scorecard, the most comprehensive country-wide perspective and city-by-city analysis on one of the nation’s most frustrating and intractable issues: traffic congestion. How bad is traffic overall? Which cities have the most traffic congestion? Where are the worst bottlenecks across the country? This new report, available at, answers these questions and more.

Traffic congestion across the U.S. increased nearly 2% in 2007 over 2006 and there appears to be no relief in sight in 2008, although higher fuel prices and the economy are affecting the rate of growth. The fallout from heavy traffic congestion hits Americans hard on several different levels. With many drivers paying over $4 a gallon at the pump and roads clogged with traffic congestion averaging 60 hours a week across the nation’s 100 worst bottlenecks, traffic continues to have a major impact on consumers, businesses and the American economy.

The INRIX Scorecard takes a micro look at traffic problems all across the country – zooming in on the total hours spent in traffic, worst day of the week for commuting and average speeds for the top 100 cities in the U.S., along with hundreds of other details including the identification of the nation’s worst bottlenecks Americans drive through every day.

It’s no revelation that cities such as Los Angeles, New York and Chicago reign at the top for worst traffic in the nation accounting for over 50% of the top 1000 bottlenecks nationwide. But Honolulu? The Scorecard reveals that traffic in cities such as Honolulu keep drivers idling, burning fuel and raising their blood pressure on roadways choked with traffic. If you happen to be driving on a Thursday from 5 PM to 6 PM on its main highways – you’re no longer in the Aloha State – you’re in the worst place and worst hour of any single roadway in the U.S., taking 88% more time to get where you’re going than if there were no congestion. If Highway 520 west bound in Seattle is your daily commute, you could conceivably get out and ride your bike faster than your car can take you to work, with an average speed of only 9 mph during congested periods. And that is not the worst of it.

The INRIX National Traffic Scorecard isn’t just the purveyor of bad news. Answers to the nation’s traffic problems can be better identified by understanding where the worst bottlenecks are located, what’s causing them and working towards solutions. Drivers along the I-95 corridor on the east coast are poised to benefit from just such information starting July 1st. In partnership with the sixteen states representing the I-95 Corridor Coalition along the eastern seaboard, INRIX will identify where traffic is at its worst, enabling drivers to have access to real-time information on traffic flows, crashes and travel times to help them anticipate and avoid delays.

The INRIX National Traffic Scorecard was created through extensive analysis of nearly 50,000 miles of primary roadways, using INRIX’s traffic data warehouse of the most recent and accurate data available anywhere. Government agencies, state DOTs, research organizations and others looking for solutions to traffic problems can incorporate the Scorecard findings into their research and planning initiatives.

Along with hundreds of significant findings, the Scorecard revealed:
The top 10 most congested metropolitan areas in the U.S. span all regions
1. Los Angeles, CA
2. New York, NY
3. Chicago, IL
4. Washington D.C.
5. Dallas-Fort Worth, TX
6. San Francisco, CA
7. Houston, TX
8. Boston, MA
9. Seattle, WA
10. Atlanta, GA

“INRIX is headquartered in Seattle, Washington and the worst traffic bottleneck in our city is directly across from our corporate headquarters – so we’re definitely feeling the pain ourselves,” said Bryan Mistele, INRIX founder and CEO. “Our business is built on knowing what’s going on with traffic day in and day out across the U.S. Utilizing our extensive data warehouse to develop the most comprehensive information available was a logical and timely endeavor for our company. The Scorecard, and the data powering the report, will contribute enormously to a better understanding of traffic congestion that can help consumers, businesses and public officials better understand the flow of traffic and apply that information toward improved transportation planning and the avoidance of traffic.”

The INRIX National Traffic Scorecard also identified unique patterns evolving out of U.S. traffic congestion:

• Worst Traffic Day: Friday
• Worst Week Day Commute: Friday PM
• Worst Commuting Hour: Friday 5-6 PM
• Worst Morning Commute: Wednesday AM
• Best Week Day for Traffic: Monday
• Best Week Day Commute: Friday AM
• Best Week Day Commuting Hour: Friday 6-7 AM
• Best Week Day Afternoon: Monday PM

The INRIX National Traffic Scorecard is the first to measure the nation’s traffic congestion problem by going beyond the traditional limitations of road sensors and statistical sampling techniques to evaluate real-time traffic on almost every major metropolitan roadway nationwide. It leverages INRIX’s Smart Dust Network, the first truly national traffic data collection network which uses a revolutionary approach to collecting traffic information. The network collects data from nearly one million anonymous, GPS-equipped commercial vehicles that report their speed and location continually to INRIX. INRIX then processes and blends other relevant traffic-related data such as road sensors, toll tags, traffic incident data and other resources to provide the most comprehensive and accurate traffic information available.

Rankings and scorecards of the 100 Most Congested Cities, along with an executive summary of the report findings are now available at the INRIX National Traffic Scorecard website at The extensive data powering the INRIX National Traffic Scorecard is immediately available under license for further analysis and review by government agencies and commercial organizations including transportation industry organizations. The INRIX National Traffic Scorecard is currently slated for publication semi-annually and will continue to provide the most up-to-date information available anywhere regarding overall traffic congestion and specific bottlenecks on major roadways across the U.S.

K. Michele Largé

Michelle Blaya
Weber Shandwick
310- 854-8243

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