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Los Angeles has nation's worst traffic again

By Shawn Price   |   March 16, 2016 at 2:16 AM

LOS ANGELES, March 16 (UPI) -- Los Angeles once again has the dubious distinction of the worst traffic in the United States, according to a new study released Tuesday.

Drivers in the greater Los Angeles area -- which includes neighboring Orange County to the south -- spent an average of 81 hours just idling in their cars in 2015. Not only that, but the LA area had four of the ten most congested freeway segments on Earth, according to the new study by INRIX, Inc.

LA suffered about 6 hours worse congestion annually per driver than those in San Francisco and Washington, D.C. where drivers were stuck for 75 hours. Drivers in Houston, Tx. were slightly better off at 74 hours and for those who drive in New York City, they were stuck 73 hours.

Nationally, we spent a total of 8 million hours in traffic last year, and it's part of trend that is both good and bad, the report's authors said. The good news is that worsening traffic means a better economy, but it also means higher stress levels and decreased productivity.

"This validates what people are experiencing," said Herbie Huff, researcher at the UCLA Institute of Transportation Studies. "It's important to recognize that congestion is a sign of good things," she said.

The trend will likely continue if gas prices remain low and the economy remains strong, said Chris Handley, Inrix's vice president of product and analytics.

Rounding out the cities with the most congested roadways in the country were Seattle with 66 hours, Boston with 64, Chicago at 60, Atlanta at 59 and Honolulu with 49 hours.

More good news for LA: It lags far behind London, England with the most congested roadways on Earth. London drivers spent an average of 101 hours stuck in traffic.

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