US

NYC has America’s worst traffic congestion

NYC has America's worst traffic congestion

New York City had the worst traffic congestion in the US in 2020, a jump from the No. 4 rank the previous year, according to a new report.

Big Apple drivers lost 100 hours of time to traffic congestion last year, according to transportation analytics firm INRIX — which is actually a 28 percent drop from 2019.

But other cities saw much larger increases in speed amid the pandemic: In Boston, drivers lost 68 percent fewer hours in 2020 than 2019. In San Francisco congestion dropped 51 percent.

Philadelphia and Chicago came in second and third place in terms of hours lost to congestion, at 94 and 86 respectively. Each saw traffic drop between six and 12 percent more than New York.

INRIX transportation analyst Bob Pishue said New York’s rise to the top of the list surprised him — and was tough to explain.

“Downtown speeds [in New York] only went from 11 mph to 12 mph — not that big a jump, 9 percent or so. We saw in other cities jumps of 40 percent or more,” Pishue said.

“New York is its own thing. Everything in New York is unique. Trying to pin this on one factor is really difficult.”

New York City roads also accounted for the second, third and fourth most congested in the country, according to INRIX’s analysis — with the Brooklyn Queens Expressway from I-145 to Tillary Street, the Cross Bronx Expressway west of the Bronx River Parkway, and the BQE between 38th Street and Downtown Brooklyn taking the dubious honors.

Traffic near the Brooklyn Bridge on March 5, 2021.
Traffic near the Brooklyn Bridge on March 5, 2021.
Paul Martinka

“There’s still delays in New York, and they’re focused on some key corridors,” Pishue said. “That’s what kept New York’s traffic so high — where there was congestion, it was more concentrated.”

The city came in at number three worldwide for hours lost to congestion last year — behind Bogota and Bucharest.

About the author

James Thompson

James Thompson has worked in various news organizations and now aims to make Report Door one of the best and fastest growing news websites in the U.S. He contributes to the US and World sections.

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