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Los Angeles has the worst traffic in the world — again




File: Traffic comes to a stand still on the northbound and the southbound lanes of the Interstate 405 freeway near Los Angeles International Airport.
File: Traffic comes to a stand still on the northbound and the southbound lanes of the Interstate 405 freeway near Los Angeles International Airport.
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

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When you joke to your friends that L.A. has the worst traffic in the world, it's actually true. For the sixth straight year, Los Angeles took the top spot on the Global Traffic Scorecard. That means we are number one for congestion -- out of more than a thousand different cities.

LA drivers spent 102 hours in gridlock last year during peak time periods, according to the transportation analytics firm INRIX.

"LA has a booming economy, so as the economy grows, more people have jobs, more people are on the road. Also, obviously, just the sheer number of people in the L.A. metro area adds to congestion and the sprawling metropolitan area also adds to the congestion," said Mark Burfeind, communications director for INRIX.

He said one L.A. road is especially bad.

"Surprisingly even though L.A. is the top-ranked most congested city in the world, L.A. only has one worst congested road in the U.S. and that's on the 10 eastbound between Figueroa and the 110, with commuters wasting an average of 74 hours a year," he said.

All that time playing bumper cars can be costly, too.

The average Angeleno driver pays $2,828 each year in wasted fuel, time and other indirect costs. The more commercial vehicles idle in traffic, the more they cost, and those costs are often passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices.

L.A. may have the worst traffic in the world, but it's in good company. New York drivers ranked second, spending 91 hours slogging it out on the road. San Francisco ranked fifth; drivers there spent 79 hours staring at bumpers.

As a whole, the United States has the dubious distinction of being the most congested developed country in the world. Ten U.S. cities were among the top 25 worldwide for worst traffic congestion.