Washington, D.C. is world class when it comes to traffic congestion.
A new analysis of traffic patterns in cities around the globe rates the Washington area as the 18th-most congested city for drivers. The 2017 INRIX Traffic Scorecard Report said drivers spent 11 percent of their drive time in congestion last year.
INRIX ranked 1,360 cities in the world based on its analysis of more than 500 terabytes of data and 5 million miles of road.
During peak hours, Washington-area drivers sat in traffic about 20 percent of the time, INRIX said. Traffic was especially bad on roads heading in and out of the city. INRIX said drivers in the Washington area spent 63 hours in congestion last year.
In North America, Washington ranked 6th in traffic congestion, behind only Los Angeles (first overall), New York, San Francisco, Atlanta, and Miami. Boston and Chicago also ranked in the top 25.
This congestion has a cost, both to the driver and the city. According to INRIX, congestion cost the average driver in Washington $2,060 last year. It also had a $6.1 billion cost to the region.
As bad as things get in Washington, just be glad you’re not in Los Angeles. The City of Angels ranked first overall in the scorecard report; drivers in LA spent an average of 102 hours of their lives in congestion in 2017.
The INRIX report did not convey much optimism about traffic improving in the United States, noting that state fuel taxes, once a key source of road funding, have lost their impact due to “fuel efficiency gains and inflationary pressure.”
“Americans continue to increase the amount they drive as a whole,” INRIX said. “As the demand for driving continues to exceed the supply of roadway, congestion will likely continue to rise.”