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April 2016

Think Seattle has gridlock?

With 66 hours wasted in traffic, on average, Seattle drivers earned sixth place on the latest traffic congestion scorecard compiled by INRIX.

Los Angeles topped the chart of U.S. cities with its drivers stuck an average of 81 hours in traffic.  Washington, DC and San Francisco tied for second with 75 hours, followed by Houston (74 hours) and New York City (73 hours).

Also on the most snarled cities list following Seattle were Boston, Chicago, Atlanta and Honolulu.

Most Congested Cities map

In releasing its scorecard, INRIX said urbanization continues to drive increased congestion in many major cities worldwide.  "Strong economies, population growth, higher employment rates and declining gas prices have resulted in more drivers on the road - and more time wasted in traffic," the Kirkland-based company stated in a news release.

The report also compared traffic in more than 100 metro areas worldwide. That scorecard shows London earned the dubious distinction of being the most congested city. Its drivers wasted an average of 101 hours, or more than four days, in gridlock. Last year marked the first time a metro area surpassed the 100-hours threshold.

"Challenges of urban mobility can lead to reduced productivity, higher emissions and increased stress levels," INRIX commented in its report. "While not all cities experienced increased congestion in 2015, the impact of traffic is felt worldwide, leading governments and agencies to seek better solutions for city planning and infrastructure improvements," the researchers concluded.

INRIX has 50 patents related to traffic and transportation. For the past decade, since it was established, it has helped governments tap into Big Data to engineer systems for Smart Cities that go beyond traffic to address the individual, economic and environmental challenges of urbanization worldwide.