International Finance
Economy

The worst traffic hotspots in the 25 most congested US cities

New York had more traffic hotspots than any other city, costing drivers $64 billion by 2026 due to wasted time, fuel and emissions

INRIX published research on the worst traffic hotspots in America. Using INRIX Roadway Analytics, a cloud-based traffic analysis tool, INRIX analyzed and ranked more than 100,000 traffic hotspots in the 25 most congested U.S. cities. The economic cost of hotspots was also calculated in terms of wasted time, lost fuel and carbon emissions over the next decade.

“Many cities are calling for increased transportation infrastructure spending to fix ailing roads, bridges and transit networks,” said Bob Pishue, Senior Economist, INRIX. “By identifying traffic hotspots and analyzing their root causes, cities can effectively combat congestion and maximize present and future investments.”
Ranking America’s Most Congested Cities

INRIX Roadway Analytics identified and ranked 108,000 traffic hotspots in the 25 most congested cities in the U.S identified by the INRIX Global Traffic Scorecard. The ranking was determined by an “Impact Factor,” which is based on the duration, length and frequency of traffic jams. The Impact Factor score enabled INRIX Research to estimate the economic costs at the road level and provided a metric to analyze the health of the transportation network within each city or metro area.

New York had more traffic hotspots (13,608) than any other city analyzed. However, Los Angeles topped the ranking with the highest overall Impact Factor, due to the severity as well as the high number of hotspots (10,385). This also means L.A. pays the highest price, with congestion at these locations potentially costing drivers $91 billion by 2026, if congestion doesn’t improve.

The impact of L.A. hotspots, and the potential cost to drivers, was 42 percent higher than the second ranked city, New York, and three times higher than Washington D.C. (ranked third). Atlanta and Dallas round out the top five, with Chicago, San Francisco, Houston, Miami and Boston making up the top 10. The economic cost to drivers due to wasted time, fuel and emissions in the 25 cities amounts to $481 billion by 2026. When extrapolated to a national level, traffic hotspots could total almost $2.2 trillion over the next decade.

Table 1: INRIX Roadway Analytics Traffic Hotspot Ranking – U.S. Cities

Table 1: INRIX Roadway Analytics Traffic Hotspot Ranking – U.S. Cities

Rank

U.S. City

No. of
Hotspots

Impact
Factor

2026 Cost of
Congestion

Worst Traffic Hotspot

1

Los Angeles, CA

10,385

11,692,591

$90.9bn

I-405 N at Exit 43 to Exit 21

2

New York, NY

13,608

8,215,036

$63.9bn

Brooklyn Queens Expy E at Exit 28A to W Shore Expy

3

Washington D.C.

6,097

3,758,733

$29.2bn

I-95 S at Exit 133A to Fairfax County Parkway

4

Atlanta, GA

8,554

3,714,123

$28.9bn

I-285 S at I-20 to Route 23

5

Dallas, TX

6,720

3,644,525

$28.3bn

I-20 W at Exit 451 to Exit 466

6

Chicago, IL

7,719

3,631,591

$28.2bn

I-90 W at 81A to Exit 56B

7

San Francisco, CA

2,587

3,458,305

$26.9bn

I-80 W at Emeryville to CA-4

8

Houston, TX

4,417

3,058,004

$23.8bn

I-45 S Exit 46A to Exit 63

9

Miami, FL

6,596

2,449,631

$19.1bn

I-95 N at Exit 12A to US-1

10

Boston, MA

4,158

2,429,229

$18.9bn

Massachusetts Tpke E at Boston U Bridge to Oak St

11

Seattle, WA

2,675

1,929,802

$15.0bn

I-5 S at Pike St to 128th St/Exit 186

12

Philadelphia, PA

6,232

1,896,048

$14.7bn

Mid-County Expy S at E Rose Valley Rd to Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge

13

San Diego, CA

1,936

1,602,278

$12.5bn

I-15 N at Exit I-215 to Gopher Canyon Road

14

Denver, CO

2,258

1,226,504

$9.5bn

US-36 W / I-270 at Exit 1 to Smith Rd

15

Phoenix, AZ

3,441

1,220,561

$9.5bn

I-10 W at Exit 138 to Exit 151

16

Portland, OR

2,365

1,154,218

$9.0bn

US-26 E at I-405 to NW 185th Ave

17

Nashville, TN

2,602

1,081,459

$8.4bn

I-24 W at Antioch Pike to Rocky Fork Rd

18

Austin, TX

1,727

1,076,441

$8.4bn

I-35 N at Stassney Ln to Exit 223

19

Columbia, MD

2,856

1,046,558

$8.1bn

I-695 CCW at Baltimore Nat’l Pike to Providence Rd

20

Detroit, MI

4,284

1,019,345

$7.9bn

I-94 W at Inkster Rd to Gratiot Ave

21

Minneapolis, MN

1,903

799,619

$6.2bn

I-94 W at State Hwy 128 to 250th St

22

Stamford, CT

777

729,130

$5.7bn

I-95 S at Route 136 to Stratford Ave

23

Pittsburgh, PA

2,744

530,395

$4.1bn

Lincoln Hwy E at Fort Pitt Tunnel to Settlers Ridge

24

Baton Rouge, LA

1,090

389,416

$3.0bn

I-10 E at College Dr to Port Allen Lock

25

Santa Barbara, CA

174

146,996

$1.1bn

US-101 N at San Ysidro Rd to La Conchita

   City Cost:

$481.4bn

    U.S. Cost:

$2.2tn

Top 25 Traffic Hotspots
INRIX Roadway Analytics identified and ranked the 25 worst hotspots from the cities studied. While L.A.’s traffic hotspots dominated the rankings – five of the top 10 traffic hotspots and 10 of the top 25 – the worst hotspot was on I-95 Southbound in the Washington D.C. region near Fredericksburg, VA. Traffic jams at the I-95 hotspot occurred 1,394 times over the study period, stretched 6.47 miles and lasted 33 minutes on average, with a potential to cost of $2.3 billion by 2026 if congestion here is not reduced.

INRIX evaluated the effectiveness of recent projects around the top 25 hotspots. Chicago’s top hotspot, I-90 westbound at North Newcastle Avenue, is just 4 miles east of a recent roadway expansion project on the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway. Illinois Tollway recently added a lane in each direction, which increased westbound peak hour travel speeds by 64 percent. It also activated “smart” features, such as dynamic travel times, active lane management and “shoulder running” for buses or emergency vehicles.

Other cities around the country are making strides to reduce congestion and improve travel times. Although in the early stages, state and local governments have support to enact long-term transportation programs to ease congestion like Atlanta’s Transform 285/400, Measure M in Los Angeles, New York’s BQE Atlantic to Sands and Connecting Washington in Washington state.

Table 2: INRIX Roadway Analytics Top 25 Traffic Hotspots in the U.S

Rank

U.S. City

Worst Traffic Hotspot

Avg
Time
(mins)

Avg
Length
(miles)

No. of
Traffic
jams

2026 Cost of
Congestion

1

Washington D.C.

I-95 S at Exit 133A to Fairfax County Parkway

33

6.47

1,394

$2.3bn

2

Los Angeles, CA

I-405 N at Exit 43 to Exit 21

23

5.12

2,032

$1.9bn

3

Los Angeles, CA

I-405 S at Exit 22 to Exit 45

24

4.98

1,403

$1.3bn

4

Los Angeles, CA

US-101 S at Exit 3B to CA-134/CA-170

355

4.22

108

$1.3bn

5

Chicago, IL

I-90 W at 81A to Exit 56B

79

8.55

238

$1.3bn

6

Los Angeles, CA

I-405 N at Exit 53 to 38B

40

5.61

680

$1.2bn

7

Washington D.C.

I-95 N at Exit 143B to SR-608

33

4.51

936

$1.1bn

8

Los Angeles, CA

US-101 S at Exit 13B to Exit 34

124

4.54

241

$1.1bn

9

Washington D.C.

I-495 Beltway at Route 201 to Exit 4A

39

5.08

684

$1.1bn

10

San Diego, CA

I-15 N at Exit I-215 to Gopher Canyon Road

177

13.71

54

$1.0bn

11

New York, NY

Brooklyn Queens Expy E at Exit 28A to W Shore Expy

64

4.37

462

$1.0bn

12

Houston, TX

I-45 S Exit 46A to Exit 63

75

5

340

$992m

13

New York, NY

I-95 N / Cross Bronx Expy at Exit 4A to Route 46

155

3.35

243

$981m

14

San Francisco, CA

I-80 W at Emeryville to CA-4

53

4.35

504

$904m

15

Los Angeles, CA

I-5 S at I-10 to CA-170

76

7.41

201

$880m

16

Atlanta, GA

I-285 S at I-20 to Route 23

74

10.38

143

$854m

17

Atlanta, GA

I-75 N at Exit 271 to I-75/I-85

62

8.99

187

$811m

18

New York, NY

Belt Pkwy E at Crossbay Blvd to I-278

115

7.16

122

$781m

19

Los Angeles, CA

I-10 E at I-5/I-10 Exit 135C to Exit 1A Santa Monica

26

9.04

422

$771m

20

Seattle, WA

I-5 S at Pike St to 128th St/Exit 186

39

6.14

406

$756m

21

Los Angeles, CA

I-5 N Exit 146A to Exit 126B

86

6.13

184

$754m

22

Chicago, IL

I-90 E at Exit 50B to I-294

48

6.56

304

$744m

23

Los Angeles, CA

I-10 W at I-110 to Exit 19C

112

3.79

218

$720m

24

Los Angeles, CA

I-405 N at Exit 70 to I-105

22

12.03

349

$718m

25

New York, NY

I-95 S / Cross Bronx Expy at Alexander Hamilton Bdg to Exit 6A

155

3.76

158

$716m

What's New

UK Election Results: Labour Party registers landslide victory as Keir Starmer set to become next PM

IFM Correspondent

South Africa’s employment crisis: New government needs to act fast

IFM Correspondent

US unemployment claims decrease, easing labour market concerns

IFM Correspondent

Leave a Comment

* By using this form you agree with the storage and handling of your data by this website.