Best and worst cities for traffic in South Africa

Feb 23, 2017, 00:22

The competing Tom Tom navigation company ranks Seattle the fourth most congested area in the United States, in its yearly Traffic Index update released Monday.

Third place in the 2016 ranking went to New York City, and the top five also includes San Francisco and Bogota. On average, United States-based drivers were noted to spend 42 hours stuck in congested hours during peak periods.

"Gas prices haven't increased that much over the previous year or two, " Bob Pishue, senior economist at INRIX and a co-author of the study, told USA Today.

The U.S. accounted for 11 of the top 25 cities worldwide with the worst traffic congestion.

The company said countries are ranked by a weighted average of their cities' peak hours spent in traffic congestion a year ago. Los Angeles ranked No. 1, where motorists spent more than 100 hours in traffic previous year. But congestion has eased a bit since city officials introduced new parking rules.

Traffic congestion in 2016 cost USA drivers almost $300 billion and averaged a cost of $1,400 per driver.

In 2016, drivers wasted 72 hours per person on average picking their ways through that stretch.

The next two countries on the list are not even close to Thailand's numbers but still have enough congested traffic to be second on the list.

When freight carriers lose time and money in traffic, 90% of those costs "get pushed onto households through higher prices for goods and services" Pishue says. In Los Angeles, the average driver saw a loss of $2,408.

According to Inrix, Miami's monolithic wall of rush-hour cars is costing the city $3.6 billion per year - more than all but four cities in the nation. NYC had the top daytime congestion on arterials and city streets, while San Francisco ranked first during peak times. Its traffic congestion has worsened, but it's been moving down the ranking over the past few years as other global cities experience more acute traffic problems. It also utilized "market-specific criteria that affect traffic", including construction and road closures, real-time incidents, sporting and entertainment events, weather forecasts and school schedules.

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