Holiday Traffic: Avoid These Roads
We’ve compiled a list of the most congested interstates in the country, using data from Inrix’s 2014 National Travel Scorecard. Inrix is a real-time traffic data provider, and every year it compiles this ranking of the worst traffic bottlenecks in America. Unsurprisingly, New York and Los Angeles take all but a few of the top 100 places in Inrix’s rankings, but we’ve picked locations across the country for our list.
New York: Cross Bronx Expressway/I-95Since New Yorkers already spend 54.2 hours a year in gridlock, holiday road trippers should plan plenty additional time for getting beyond their city's limits. The Alexander Hamilton bridge is a particularly bad stretch in the Big Apple. It can take travelers nearly two hours to go nine miles on a bad day, making it the most congested road in America.
Los Angeles: I-10 / US-101The only city that comes close to New York's level of congestion is Los Angeles. Half of the top ten most congested corridors in America can be found within the city limits. Drivers can expect to waste 64.1 hours per year sitting in traffic here. Just this year, the California Department of Transportation (CalTrans) ranked Interstate 5 in Los Angeles County as the most congested highway in the state. It can take travelers 2.3 hours to drive the 14.8 miles between 20th and Alameda.
Boston: I-93Boston has spent $22 Billion dollars over the last 16 years to fight congestion, according to the Boston Globe, but the traffic remains undeterred. It's a town which suffers from centuries of haphazard growth. With 7.6 million people living within commuting range, that spells major frustrations for commuters. Bostonians end up spending 38.8 hours per car per year sitting in traffic jams. The I-93 is by far the worst offender in Boston. It comes in as the 14th worst stretch of freeway in the nation, with a 10 mile section taking an hour and a half long trip. And with another monster snow storm settling in over the east coast the day before Thanksgiving, this might be one trip home worth skipping.
Houston is a city built around commuters hitting a system of huge freeways. But even a mega freeway like US-59 can still get backed up.
Take for instance a 4.8 mile stretch through Houston can take commuters 53 minutes to traverse during peak travel time. At least drivers in Houston won't have to deal with snow this Thanksgiving.
Miami, Florida: 836 Dolphin ExpresswayIf you're taking Route 836 Dolphin Expressway out of Miami this holiday weekend, get comfy. You might be there a while. The Dolphin Expressway has some of the worst traffic in the sunshine state. It takes commuters 58 minutes to travel the 5.8 miles through downtown during peak traffic.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: I-279Smaller, rust belt cities aren't much better than their huge west coast brothers. Pittsburgh has some nasty traffic as well. On I-279, it can take 49 minutes to go three miles. Pittsburg is also going to be caught in a potentially bad snow storm over the holiday weekend, further gnarling traffic for holiday commuters.
San Francisco: I-80California's mega cities are bogged down with traffic across the state. Cars absolutely crawl along the downtown connector of Interstate 80 and Highway 101 to the Bay Bridge in San Francisco, California. San Francisco drivers can spend 37 minutes battling through less than three miles of traffic at the I-80/ 101 interchange.
Chicago has come a long way in recent years. Formerly considered one of the worst cities in America in terms of traffic, Chicago makes its first appearance on the 2014 INRIX Scorecard at number 24 nationally. That's still means significant snarls, however. A 12 mile stretch of I-90 can take up to 37 minutes to traverse. Add unpredictable late fall weather, and Chicago can become a very frustrating place to drive.