These US cities have the worst traffic and Los Angeles isn't even in the top five

Originally published at: These US cities have the worst traffic and Los Angeles isn't even in the top five | Boing Boing

A lot of the cities on the list pre-date the automobile and had car-friendly features shoehorned into them by planners such as Robert Moses (often destroying vibrant communities in the process). A lot of the others were purposefully designed or evolved to accommodate cars over people. Either way, American car culture is now finally being acknowledged as what it is: a blight on cities.


The article includes this comment:

So it didn’t really talk about how bad the commutes are for the people who don’t drive in those locations. But it certainly shouldn’t be surprising to anyone that places where most people make use of public transportation wouldn’t be ideal for the people who drive instead.


I lived much of my youth in Concord and my brother still does. There is no way it takes 40 minutes to commute there. 30 years ago it took me 40 minutes (on a good day) to commute from Concord to Oakland, or to SF via Bart. Sure it’s probably worst now, but I’m sure I get across Concord and to any where in the Diablo Valley in 40 minutes.

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The traffic here in Austin can often be pretty lousy, just going a mile sometimes takes 20-30 minutes depending on what area of town you’re headed to


As I recall, the average speed of private vehicles in Manhattan has never exceeded 15MPH going back to at least the late 19th century.


When I hear about this I think of this picture of comparing Amsterdam in the 70s and today. It’s a choice and we can change our minds.



I’m not surprised about Boston getting so much worse lately. The MBTA is falling apart, increasingly rapidly over the past few years, and can’t be depended on


That LA is even in the top ten is something. It is, indeed, foolish to try to have a car commute in a city not designed around automobiles (but does have a functional mass transit that most people use instead), but LA was designed around cars, is pretty sparsely populated compared to a real city, and it’s still a nightmare* (and has no usable mass transit as a workable alternative).

*And much of the rest of California is a sort of baby version - they’re growing up to be LA, but they’re not there yet.


A friend of mine recently moved to the east coast from Colorado. He had to come through Boston during rush hour and found it maddening.

My commute is from the southern edge of the city to a town just north of the city. If it’s late at night it’s only a 30 minute drive, if it’s rush hour it’s almost triple that. And the MBTA subway is no faster-- sometimes the subway is so slow I have seen bumper-to-bumper traffic on 93 passing us around Savin Hill.


Man, Texas IS like a whole 'nother country when it comes to driving. I haven’t been back for awhile, but did go to San Antonio for a week and wowsa.

I remember 20 years ago driving around through Austin with my Uncle and him showing me the parts that had bad accidents all the time.

I guess there is just a lot of people in those cities, but still.


ATL is no. 10… you just have to totally avoid the northwest corner of the perimeter at almost all times of the day. It’s just awful up there…

And MARTA isn’t much help unless you’re going to specific places… You can get around with the buses, but it can take ages.


Hit Boston and NYC this Summer and can confirm that the traffic there is hosed. Here in NoVaDCMd traffic can bend time. 6 miles for every hr and a half for the most part.


I commute from a town southwest of Boston to a town northwest of Boston. It’s 30 miles door to door; at no time am I within 10 miles of the city. Last Monday it took me 2 hours and 12 minutes to get to work.

When the company tried to force me back to the office more than 2 days a week I told my boss I would quit.


I’ve seen from google maps that the traffic on 128 (aka 95) is a parking lot during rush hour. It’s one of the things that keeps me from looking at housing out that way.

If not for google maps traffic overlay, the fact that I work slightly off-hours, and have a bunch of side road short cuts I’ve figured out, I’d easily spend 2 hours each way, every day on 93.


I’ll play:

LA Area:

If I leave before 6:30 it takes me less than 25 minutes to go 8 miles. 19mph
After 7AM in the morning: 50+ minutes ~9mph
Most times: 30+ minutes.

The other day I made it to San Diego in 90 minutes though…so it just depends on where you are going. My colleague took the train back up. One of the few routes we actually have in CA.

When I lived in Manhattan I took the subway. When I commuted into NYC I took the train. I had a 59 minute express that left at 6:09. Subway to work from there. Driving in would have been prohibitive and expensive.

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Silicon Valley is pretty bad. Rush hour starts early in the morning and lasts until 9am or so. Then by 3pm the freeways are jamming up again. I commuted by train up the peninsula for years, and that was fine - on a good day it was a little slower than driving, but if there was a freeway accident, it could be faster. However, the train was expensive. I got my ticket paid by the company, but otherwise it would have been several hundred a month. Also, commute by train is only feasible if the train goes somewhere near your work, and if it’s not right there, you need a bus connection.


But they’re planning to eliminate all speed restrictions on the four main subway lines by the end of 2024. All it’ll take is “multi-day shutdowns of the Red, Orange, Green, and Blue lines over the next 14 months.” :roll_eyes:

“As of Thursday, the rail transit network includes some 190 speed restrictions covering 31.1 miles, or 23% of the system”

The Green Line in particular is littered with 10 mph or below restrictions and some of those are down to 6 mph. There’s one near Boylston that’s down to 3 mph!