- New York had more traffic hotspots than any other city, costing drivers $64 billion by 2026 due to wasted time, fuel and emissions
- Los Angeles, which tops the overall INRIX ranking, has 10 of the 25 worst traffic hotspots in America, costing L.A. drivers an estimated $91 billion over the next 10 years
- I-95 in the Washington D.C. region was the worst overall traffic hotspot, which caused 1,384 traffic jams over the study period, stretching 6.47 miles and lasting 33 minutes on average
- Research shows initiatives like the Illinois Tollway congestion relief project on I-90 is proving successful at increasing speeds
Kirkland, WA – September 27, 2017 – Today, INRIX published research on the worst traffic hotspots in America. Using INRIX Roadway Analytics, a cloud-based traffic analysis tool, INRIX analyzed and ranked more than 100,000 traffic hotspots in the 25 most congested U.S. cities. The economic cost of hotspots was also calculated in terms of wasted time, lost fuel and carbon emissions over the next decade.
“Many cities are calling for increased transportation infrastructure spending to fix ailing roads, bridges and transit networks,” said Bob Pishue, Senior Economist, INRIX. “By identifying traffic hotspots and analyzing their root causes, cities can effectively combat congestion and maximize present and future investments.”
Ranking America’s Most Congested Cities
INRIX Roadway Analytics identified and ranked 108,000 traffic hotspots in the 25 most congested cities in the U.S identified by the INRIX Global Traffic Scorecard. The ranking was determined by an “Impact Factor,” which is based on the duration, length and frequency of traffic jams. The Impact Factor score enabled INRIX Research to estimate the economic costs at the road level and provided a metric to analyze the health of the transportation network within each city or metro area.
New York had more traffic hotspots (13,608) than any other city analyzed. However, Los Angeles topped the ranking with the highest overall Impact Factor, due to the severity as well as the high number of hotspots (10,385). This also means L.A. pays the highest price, with congestion at these locations potentially costing drivers $91 billion by 2026, if congestion doesn’t improve.
The impact of L.A. hotspots, and the potential cost to drivers, was 42 percent higher than the second ranked city, New York, and three times higher than Washington D.C. (ranked third). Atlanta and Dallas round out the top five, with Chicago, San Francisco, Houston, Miami and Boston making up the top 10. The economic cost to drivers due to wasted time, fuel and emissions in the 25 cities amounts to $481 billion by 2026. When extrapolated to a national level, traffic hotspots could total almost $2.2 trillion over the next decade.
Table 1: INRIX Roadway Analytics Traffic Hotspot Ranking – U.S. Cities
|Rank||U.S. City||No. of Hotspots||Impact Factor||2026 Cost of Congestion||Worst Traffic Hotspot|
|1||Los Angeles, CA||10,385||11,692,591||$90.9bn||I-405 N at Exit 43 to Exit 21|
|2||New York, NY||13,608||8,215,036||$63.9bn||Brooklyn Queens Expy E at Exit 28A to W Shore Expy|
|3||Washington D.C.||6,097||3,758,733||$29.2bn||I-95 S at Exit 133A to Fairfax County Parkway|
|4||Atlanta, GA||8,554||3,714,123||$28.9bn||I-285 S at I-20 to Route 23|
|5||Dallas, TX||6,720||3,644,525||$28.3bn||I-20 W at Exit 451 to Exit 466|
|6||Chicago, IL||7,719||3,631,591||$28.2bn||I-90 W at 81A to Exit 56B|
|7||San Francisco, CA||2,587||3,458,305||$26.9bn||I-80 W at Emeryville to CA-4|
|8||Houston, TX||4,417||3,058,004||$23.8bn||I-45 S Exit 46A to Exit 63|
|9||Miami, FL||6,596||2,449,631||$19.1bn||I-95 N at Exit 12A to US-1|
|10||Boston, MA||4,158||2,429,229||$18.9bn||Massachusetts Tpke E at Boston U Bridge to Oak St|
|11||Seattle, WA||2,675||1,929,802||$15.0bn||I-5 S at Pike St to 128th St/Exit 186|
|12||Philadelphia, PA||6,232||1,896,048||$14.7bn||Mid-County Expy S at E Rose Valley Rd to Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge|
|13||San Diego, CA||1,936||1,602,278||$12.5bn||I-15 N at Exit I-215 to Gopher Canyon Road|
|14||Denver, CO||2,258||1,226,504||$9.5bn||US-36 W / I-270 at Exit 1 to Smith Rd|
|15||Phoenix, AZ||3,441||1,220,561||$9.5bn||I-10 W at Exit 138 to Exit 151|
|16||Portland, OR||2,365||1,154,218||$9.0bn||US-26 E at I-405 to NW 185th Ave|
|17||Nashville, TN||2,602||1,081,459||$8.4bn||I-24 W at Antioch Pike to Rocky Fork Rd|
|18||Austin, TX||1,727||1,076,441||$8.4bn||I-35 N at Stassney Ln to Exit 223|
|19||Columbia, MD||2,856||1,046,558||$8.1bn||I-695 CCW at Baltimore Nat’l Pike to Providence Rd|
|20||Detroit, MI||4,284||1,019,345||$7.9bn||I-94 W at Inkster Rd to Gratiot Ave|
|21||Minneapolis, MN||1,903||799,619||$6.2bn||I-94 W at State Hwy 128 to 250th St|
|22||Stamford, CT||777||729,130||$5.7bn||I-95 S at Route 136 to Stratford Ave|
|23||Pittsburgh, PA||2,744||530,395||$4.1bn||Lincoln Hwy E at Fort Pitt Tunnel to Settlers Ridge|
|24||Baton Rouge, LA||1,090||389,416||$3.0bn||I-10 E at College Dr to Port Allen Lock|
|25||Santa Barbara, CA||174||146,996||$1.1bn||US-101 N at San Ysidro Rd to La Conchita|
Top 25 Traffic Hotspots
INRIX Roadway Analytics identified and ranked the 25 worst hotspots from the cities studied. While L.A.’s traffic hotspots dominated the rankings – five of the top 10 traffic hotspots and 10 of the top 25 – the worst hotspot was on I-95 Southbound in the Washington D.C. region near Fredericksburg, VA. Traffic jams at the I-95 hotspot occurred 1,394 times over the study period, stretched 6.47 miles and lasted 33 minutes on average, with a potential to cost of $2.3 billion by 2026 if congestion here is not reduced.
INRIX evaluated the effectiveness of recent projects around the top 25 hotspots. Chicago’s top hotspot, I-90 westbound at North Newcastle Avenue, is just 4 miles east of a recent roadway expansion project on the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway. Illinois Tollway recently added a lane in each direction, which increased westbound peak hour travel speeds by 64 percent. It also activated “smart” features, such as dynamic travel times, active lane management and “shoulder running” for buses or emergency vehicles.
Other cities around the country are making strides to reduce congestion and improve travel times. Although in the early stages, state and local governments have support to enact long-term transportation programs to ease congestion like Atlanta’s Transform 285/400, Measure M in Los Angeles, New York’s BQE Atlantic to Sands and Connecting Washington in Washington state.
Table 2: INRIX Roadway Analytics Top 25 Traffic Hotspots in the U.S
|Rank||U.S. City||Worst Traffic Hotspot||Avg Time (mins)||Avg Length (miles)||No. of Traffic jams||2026 Cost of Congestion|
|1||Washington D.C.||I-95 S at Exit 133A to Fairfax County Parkway||33||6.47||1,394||$2.3bn|
|2||Los Angeles, CA||I-405 N at Exit 43 to Exit 21||23||5.12||2,032||$1.9bn|
|3||Los Angeles, CA||I-405 S at Exit 22 to Exit 45||24||4.98||1,403||$1.3bn|
|4||Los Angeles, CA||US-101 S at Exit 3B to CA-134/CA-170||355||4.22||108||$1.3bn|
|5||Chicago, IL||I-90 W at 81A to Exit 56B||79||8.55||238||$1.3bn|
|6||Los Angeles, CA||I-405 N at Exit 53 to 38B||40||5.61||680||$1.2bn|
|7||Washington D.C.||I-95 N at Exit 143B to SR-608||33||4.51||936||$1.1bn|
|8||Los Angeles, CA||US-101 S at Exit 13B to Exit 34||124||4.54||241||$1.1bn|
|9||Washington D.C.||I-495 Beltway at Route 201 to Exit 4A||39||5.08||684||$1.1bn|
|10||San Diego, CA||I-15 N at Exit I-215 to Gopher Canyon Road||177||13.71||54||$1.0bn|
|11||New York, NY||Brooklyn Queens Expy E at Exit 28A to W Shore Expy||64||4.37||462||$1.0bn|
|12||Houston, TX||I-45 S Exit 46A to Exit 63||75||5||340||$992m|
|13||New York, NY||I-95 N / Cross Bronx Expy at Exit 4A to Route 46||155||3.35||243||$981m|
|14||San Francisco, CA||I-80 W at Emeryville to CA-4||53||4.35||504||$904m|
|15||Los Angeles, CA||I-5 S at I-10 to CA-170||76||7.41||201||$880m|
|16||Atlanta, GA||I-285 S at I-20 to Route 23||74||10.38||143||$854m|
|17||Atlanta, GA||I-75 N at Exit 271 to I-75/I-85||62||8.99||187||$811m|
|18||New York, NY||Belt Pkwy E at Crossbay Blvd to I-278||115||7.16||122||$781m|
|19||Los Angeles, CA||I-10 E at I-5/I-10 Exit 135C to Exit 1A Santa Monica||26||9.04||422||$771m|
|20||Seattle, WA||I-5 S at Pike St to 128th St/Exit 186||39||6.14||406||$756m|
|21||Los Angeles, CA||I-5 N Exit 146A to Exit 126B||86||6.13||184||$754m|
|22||Chicago, IL||I-90 E at Exit 50B to I-294||48||6.56||304||$744m|
|23||Los Angeles, CA||I-10 W at I-110 to Exit 19C||112||3.79||218||$720m|
|24||Los Angeles, CA||I-405 N at Exit 70 to I-105||22||12.03||349||$718m|
|25||New York, NY||I-95 S / Cross Bronx Expy at Alexander Hamilton Bdg to Exit 6A||155||3.76||158||$716m|
To download the full research report, please visit: https://www2.inrix.com/us-traffic-hotspot-study-2017
INRIX Roadway Analytics
INRIX Roadway Analytics is a cloud-based, on-demand traffic analysis tool available in 47 countries across North America, Europe and the Middle East. It provides transportation agencies with easy access to powerful road analysis and insights stemming from highly-granular INRIX XDTM segments. Roadway Analytics allows transportation planners and government agencies to leverage big data to monitor changes in traffic patterns, target improvements to maximize benefits and produce visualizations to convey important information to decision makers. With historical data and multi-year trend analysis, Roadway Analytics is being used to assist with setting and tracking progress against new federally-required mobility performance targets.
Click here to see a data visualization of INRIX Roadway Analytics in action in Milan, Italy.
For details and to sign-up for the INRIX Roadway Analytics webinar please click here.
Notes to Editors
- INRIX Roadway Analytics provided a deep-dive look at the INRIX Global Traffic Scorecard’s 25 most-congested U.S. cities, analyzing over 100,000 traffic hotspots March through April, 2017.
- A key feature of INRIX Roadway Analytics is the bottleneck tool, which pinpoints traffic jams on the road network. The locations where traffic jams occur, defined as observed speeds dropping below 65% of reference (uncongested) speed for at least 2 minutes, are called traffic hotspots.
- The bottleneck tool calculates the average length of all traffic jams at a hotspot, the average duration they existed and the number of occurrences at the hotspot during the study period. Multiplying these three statistics together produces the ‘Impact Factor’ – a measure of the scale or impact of each hotspot. This Impact Factor is used to rank traffic hotspots.
- The annual amount of time wasted at each traffic hotspot is estimated by assuming: the average traffic hotspot had two lanes of traffic; a vehicle density of 150 vehicles per mile; and vehicle occupancies based on national statistics. Multiplying these numbers by a hotspot’s Impact Factor produces an estimate of the amount of time wasted at each hotspot. An annual cost of this time can be made by multiplying the time wasted by six (the study covered two months) and converted into economic values by multiplying it by the value of time derived depending upon trip purpose from USDOT statistics. These costs are assumed to accrue for 10 years but future costs are discounted by the social discount rate of seven percent per year, set by U.S. Treasury Department, because flows that we pay or receive in the future are worth less to us in today’s money.
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