article

01.18.10

America's 75 Worst Commutes

They are the highways to hell in the country’s most gridlocked cities. The Daily Beast crunches the numbers to determine your ultimate morning nightmares. How did your commute rank?

Bumper-to-bumper traffic is America’s collective nightmare, and like the movie Groundhog Day it repeats on a daily basis.

Congestion consumes billions of gallons of fuel, wastes hundreds of billions of dollars in productivity and causes billions of stress headaches. Yet over 100 million automobile commuters each day feel like they have little option. “We put so much of our national wealth and our identity into the whole motoring thing,” says James Howard Kunstler, author of Geography of Nowhere, “that we can’t imagine doing something different.”

Anthony Downs, author of Stuck in Traffic has identified four reasons for America’s congestion problem, also applicable to most European and Asian economies: first, most of us work during the same hours of the day; second, the country’s economic success has allowed households to buy multiple cars; third, there are more people now than when most roadways were conceived; fourth, more cars means more accidents which means more delays.

In other words, this problem isn’t going anywhere. So the Daily Beast set out to figure out the worst of the worst. The true Highways to Hell. It was a two-step process, done with data from traffic-tracking firm INRIX, which culls information nationwide from more than 1.5 million GPS units, mostly in freight trucks.

Our first step was ranking the metropolitan areas with the worst rush-hour congestion. The order is based on the peak hour Travel Time Index (TTI) for the metropolitan area each highway is in. TTI is a measure of how much longer it takes to complete a road journey during peak congestion hours compared to free-flow hours. (Peak hours are defined as 6 a.m. to 10a.m., and 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.) Speeds during non-peak hours are used by INRIX to establish this free-flow baseline.

After determining the 75 worst metro areas, we then found the worst highway in each, defined as the most hours of bottleneck congestion, as reported by INRIX. The rankings then provide a still deeper look—at the most congested bottleneck segment for the worst highway in each area.

How does your commute fare? Read on.

#1, Hollywood Freeway, Los Angeles
Weekly hours of bottleneck congestion: 686
Worst bottleneck: Southbound, Vermont Avenue
Length of worst bottleneck: .64 mi
Weekly hours of congestion on worst bottleneck: 77
Speed of worst bottleneck when congested: 14 mph

The expert opinion: "I recall they would say things like it's a 20-minute trip downtown on the Hollywood Freeway,” Metropolitan Transportation Authority chief executive Art Leahy says on traffic when he was growing up in Los Angeles. “No one anticipated the congestion that would emerge."

#2, Lunalilo Freeway (H-1), Honolulu
Weekly hours of bottleneck congestion: 347
Worst bottleneck: Eastbound, S Vineyard Blvd/Ward Ave
Length of worst bottleneck: .82 mi
Weekly hours of congestion on worst bottleneck: 36
Speed of worst bottleneck when congested: 16.4 mph

The expert opinion: “There are only three lanes in either direction on Lunalilo Freeway through town, making it slow wherever there is a merge,” says KSSK traffic reporter Jason Yotsuda in an email. “Not much can be done there.”

#3, Capital Beltway, surrounds Washington DC
Weekly hours of bottleneck congestion: 194
Worst bottleneck: Southbound, Exit 2A-B
Length of worst bottleneck: 1.26 mi
Weekly hours of congestion on worst bottleneck: 31
Speed of worst bottleneck when congested: 21.2 mph

The expert opinion: “It’s a rough road,” says Adam Tuss, transportation reporter for WTOP 103.5. “It has lots of twists and turns, people speed on it and it’s got a lot of slow points too. It’s certainly not a freeway without its challenges.”

#4, I-35, Austin
Weekly hours of bottleneck congestion: 460
Worst bottleneck: Northbound, Riverside Dr
Length of worst bottleneck: .92 mi
Weekly hours of congestion on worst bottleneck: 47
Speed of worst bottleneck when congested: 16.2 mph

The expert opinion: “It’s the most traveled stretch of roadway of Austin and in the state,” says Joe Taylor, traffic reporter for News 8 Austin. “It’s quirky. It was designed for a small town, and we’ve grown into a very large city.”

#5, James Lick Freeway (US 101), San Francisco
Weekly hours of bottleneck congestion: 190
Worst bottleneck: I 80 Northbound, 4th St/5th St
Length of worst bottleneck: .52 mi
Weekly hours of congestion on worst bottleneck: 46
Speed of worst bottleneck when congested: 12.9 mph

The expert opinion: “I think it’s probably worse in the afternoon than in morning drives,” says Kim Wonderley, traffic reporter at KCBS 740. “There is another stretch of 280 that hits it and from that point up into San Francisco where it ends up joining Interstate 80 it’s a pressure point, no doubt about it.”

#6, Cross Bronx Expressway, New York City
Weekly hours of bottleneck congestion: 421
Worst bottleneck: Southbound, Bronx River Parkway/Exit 4B
Length of worst bottleneck: .36 mi
Weekly hours of congestion on worst bottleneck: 94
Speed of worst bottleneck when congested: 11.2 mph

The expert opinion: “There’s an old phrase that we used to have: too many cars and not enough roadway, and that fits the Cross Bronx to a T,” says Tom Kaminski, traffic reporter for WCBS 880 in New York City. “There’s no room to expand, there’s no way to throw in an additional lane or an additional shoulder—people have started changing their driving habits whenever they can.”

#7, I-5, Seattle
Weekly hours of bottleneck congestion: 256
Worst bottleneck: Southbound, 45th St/Exit 169
Length of worst bottleneck: 1.46 mi
Weekly hours of congestion on worst bottleneck: 34
Speed of worst bottleneck when congested: 21.3 mph

The expert opinion: “We have one major problem in downtown Seattle, and that is physical restraints,” says Paul Tosch, traffic reporter for KOMO 1000. “We only have so much room to put more freeway through downtown Seattle because we have water to one side and all the downtown buildings to the other. And I mean we don’t have room for one more lane.”

#8, I-95, Bridgeport, CT
Weekly hours of bottleneck congestion: 272
Worst bottleneck: Northbound, US 1/Connecticut Ave/Exit 14
Length of worst bottleneck: 1.4 mi
Weekly hours of congestion on worst bottleneck: 27
Speed of worst bottleneck when congested: 22.7 mph

The expert opinion: “If there’s a car crash it can take people forever to get home,” says Tommy Edison, traffic reporter for STAR 99.9. “It can be downright horrible.”

#9, Kennedy Expressway, Chicago
Weekly hours of bottleneck congestion: 712
Worst bottleneck: Westbound, I 90/I 94/Edens Expressway
Length of worst bottleneck: .2 mi
Weekly hours of congestion on worst bottleneck: 64
Speed of worst bottleneck when congested: 17.2 mph

The expert opinion: “There’s no such thing as rush hour. It’s rush period, rush day,” says Roz Varon, traffic anchor for ABC 7 News This Morning. “With the Kennedy, that thing will stay congested until 10 or 11 a.m. and start backing up again at 1 p.m.”

#10, Airport Expressway (State Road 112), Miami
Weekly hours of bottleneck congestion: 183
Worst bottleneck: Eastbound, 72nd Ave/Milam Dairy Rd
Length of worst bottleneck: .46 mi
Weekly hours of congestion on worst bottleneck: 22
Speed of worst bottleneck when congested: 16.3 mph

Commuter Buzz: ''Southbound, northbound, eastbound, westbound. It means detours,'' state Department of Transportation spokesperson Tish Burgher told the Miami Herald July 14, 2009, after surrounding roadwork was expected to force traffic onto State Road 112.

#11, Bayshore Freeway (US 101), San Jose
Weekly hours of bottleneck congestion: 231
Worst bottleneck: Northbound, Old Middlefield Way
Length of worst bottleneck: .34 mi
Weekly hours of congestion on worst bottleneck: 27
Speed of worst bottleneck when congested: 20.2

Commuter Buzz: “There are stretches that look like a fault line with jagged edges,” says Mike McPherson.

#12, Loop 610, surrounds Houston
Weekly hours of bottleneck congestion: 189
Worst bottleneck: Southbound, Farm-to-Market Rd 1093/Westheimer Rd/Exit 8
Length of worst bottleneck: .16 mi
Weekly hours of congestion on worst bottleneck: 34
Speed of worst bottleneck when congested: 21.9 mph

Commuter Buzz: “That is the inner loop that defines for us what the, quote, inner city of Houston is, which is a gigantic space,” says Professor Stephen Klineberg of Rice University.

#13, I-10, Baton Rouge
Weekly hours of bottleneck congestion: 93
Worst bottleneck: Westbound, Bluebonnet Rd/Exit 162
Length of worst bottleneck: 1.55 mi
Weekly hours of congestion on worst bottleneck: 19
Speed of worst bottleneck when congested: 20.6 mph

Commuter Buzz: “There is a lot of congestion already between Addis and the (Interstate 10 Mississippi River Bridge),” says Louise Crochet. “It makes more sense to spread traffic out.”

#14, Southeast Expressway, Boston
Weekly hours of bottleneck congestion: 305
Worst bottleneck: Northbound, Highway 203/Gallivan Blvd/Exit 12
Length of worst bottleneck: .98 mi
Weekly hours of congestion on worst bottleneck: 45
Speed of worst bottleneck when congested: 18.7 mph

Commuter Buzz: “You leave the house at 5:40 [a.m.], and you’re still hitting traffic?’’ says Jay McQuaide. “The last year for me, commuting between Andover and Boston, is the worst it’s ever been, much worse than the Big Dig construction years.’’

#15, Loop 820, surrounds Dallas-Fort Worth
Weekly hours of bottleneck congestion: 172
Worst bottleneck: Westbound, Rufe Snow Drive/Exit 20
Length of worst bottleneck: .85 mi
Weekly hours of congestion on worst bottleneck: 41
Speed of worst bottleneck when congested: 20.1 mph

Commuter Buzz: "Coming back home, 5:30 or 6:00 p.m., it takes a long time to get home if you're coming 820," says Mark Quintero. "I try to avoid it when I can."

#16, I-5, Portland, OR
Weekly hours of bottleneck congestion: 238
Worst bottleneck: Northbound, Marine Dr/Exit 307
Length of worst bottleneck: .76 mi
Weekly hours of congestion on worst bottleneck: 23
Speed of worst bottleneck when congested: 14.8 mph

Commuter Buzz: “As anyone who drives on Interstate 5 or listens to the traffic reports knows, I-5 and most of the Portland freeway system is already congested at peak hours,” wrote Gerald Fox. “There are numerous choke points and frequent incidents delaying traffic throughout the region.”

#17, I-494, Minneapolis-St. Paul
Weekly hours of bottleneck congestion: 184
Worst bottleneck: Westbound, Lyndale Ave/Exit 4
Length of worst bottleneck: .49 mi
Weekly hours of congestion on worst bottleneck: 32
Speed of worst bottleneck when congested: 19.8 mph

Commuter Buzz: In addition to Lyndale Avenue, the I-494/Hwy 169 interchange has, "been a bottleneck for years," says Jim Gates.

#18, I-264, Virginia Beach
Weekly hours of bottleneck congestion: 97
Worst bottleneck: Westbound, City Hall Ave/Exit 10
Length of worst bottleneck: .15 mi
Weekly hours of congestion on worst bottleneck: 28
Speed of worst bottleneck when congested: 8.9 mph

Commuter Buzz: "We're the second-largest region in the state by population and we had a year in which there's no interstate funding—I just didn't want to set that precedent," Aubrey Layne told the Virginian-Pilot in December 2009, after securing a $7.7 million in state funds for updates to the I-64/264 interchange.

#19, San Diego Freeway (I-5), San Diego
Weekly hours of bottleneck congestion: 97
Worst bottleneck: Southbound, Manchester Ave
Length of worst bottleneck: .83 mi
Weekly hours of congestion on worst bottleneck: 14
Speed of worst bottleneck when congested: 28.4 mph

Commuter Buzz: "People were jumping the median and stuffing dollar bills in their shirts," Cal Walker told NBC after drug suspects tossed $17,000 onto the freeway last March.

#20, Schuylkill Expressway, Philadelphia
Weekly hours of bottleneck congestion: 205
Worst bottleneck: Eastbound, Montgomery Dr/Exit 341
Length of worst bottleneck: 1.53 mi
Weekly hours of congestion on worst bottleneck: 34
Speed of worst bottleneck when congested: 22.9 mph

Commuter Buzz: "Frankly, we don't need any more rain," Gary Szatkowski told the Philadelphia Inquirer, after a 2009 that saw a rain-induced mudslide close part of the Schuylkill.

#21, Baltimore Beltway, surrounds Baltimore
Weekly hours of bottleneck congestion: 152
Worst bottleneck: Southbound, I 70/Exit 16
Length of worst bottleneck: .46 mi
Weekly hours of congestion on worst bottleneck: 13
Speed of worst bottleneck when congested: 24.3 mph

Commuter Buzz: "I think it's going to be a real pain in the butt," Victor Williams told WBAL TV about a drawbridge repair project that has shut down part of the Beltway.

#22, I-75, Atlanta
Weekly hours of bottleneck congestion: 250
Worst bottleneck: Southbound, US 41/Northside Dr/Exit 252
Length of worst bottleneck: .8 mi
Weekly hours of congestion on worst bottleneck: 23
Speed of worst bottleneck when congested: 23 mph

Commuter Buzz: “I wish they would make a ‘Grand Theft Auto: Atlanta’ so I could blow up the video game version of Interstate 75. It would be good therapy,” a commenter wrote on the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s online rant forum The Vent last November.

#23, I-275, Tampa
Weekly hours of bottleneck congestion: 235
Worst bottleneck: Northbound Himes Ave/Exit 23
Length of worst bottleneck: .39 mi
Weekly hours of congestion on worst bottleneck: 28
Speed of worst bottleneck when congested: 21.1 mph

Commuter Buzz: “We all know that mish-mash south of Tampa International Airport—where Interstate 275 connects with the Veterans and Memorial Highway and State Road 60,” says Jessica Balanza. “It has been a mess for the longest time, and I don't foresee it clearing up anytime soon.

#24, I-25, Denver
Weekly hours of bottleneck congestion: 166
Worst bottleneck: Southbound, Park Ave/Exit 213
Length of worst bottleneck: .6 mi
Weekly hours of congestion on worst bottleneck: 27
Speed of worst bottleneck when congested: 19.7 mph

Commuter Buzz: "It's not going to prevent all slides and that's what's important to remember. You still have to be careful and drive safely. But what it does is add a little extra traction for you on flyovers," Mindy Crane told 9News after the state began installing traction pavement to combat icy conditions.

#25, Riverside Freeway, Riverside, CA
Weekly hours of bottleneck congestion: 160
Worst bottleneck: Eastbound, Lincoln Ave
Length of worst bottleneck: 1.24 mi
Weekly hours of congestion on worst bottleneck: 24
Speed of worst bottleneck when congested: 28.3 mph

Commuter Buzz: "What we fought for was safety, but what we got was gridlock," Gary Grant told the Valley News after a project to straighten Riverside County highways and roads ended up attracting more drivers.

#26, Ronald Reagan Freeway, Oxnard, CA
Weekly hours of bottleneck congestion: 67
Worst bottleneck: Eastbound, Stearns St
Length of worst bottleneck: 1.51 mi
Weekly hours of congestion on worst bottleneck: 33
Speed of worst bottleneck when congested: 17.4 mph

Commuter Buzz: Despite road flooding in the Oxnard area from a storm Jan. 19, hydrologist Scott Holder told the Ventura County Star, “It’s not looking like it’s going to be a recurrence of the 2005 flood. We could have some minor localized flooding along some of our streams, depending on how much rain we get.”

#27, I-10, New Orleans
Weekly hours of bottleneck congestion: 93
Worst bottleneck: Westbound, Bonnabel Blvd
Length of worst bottleneck: 1.27 mi
Weekly hours of congestion on worst bottleneck: 38
Speed of worst bottleneck when congested: 25.6 mph

Commuter Buzz: "The New Orleans Regional Transportation Management Center allows us to use the resources we already have to improve communication among motorists and allow them to make smarter, more informed decisions as they travel," Louisiana DOTD Secretary William Ankner told New Orleans City Business Dec. 8, 2009, regarding a new traffic monitoring facility on I-10.

#28, I-91, New Haven
Weekly hours of bottleneck congestion: 147
Worst bottleneck: Southbound, I-95
Length of worst bottleneck: .47 mi
Weekly hours of congestion on worst bottleneck: 63
Speed of worst bottleneck when congested: 13.4 mph

Commuter Buzz: A recently approved $26 million high-speed rail project is expected to, “take a tremendous load off crowded Interstate 91 and bring new visitors, new business and new development to the entire corridor,” Gov. M. Jodi Rell said in a statement.

#29, Papago Freeway (I-10), Phoenix
Weekly hours of bottleneck congestion: 98
Worst bottleneck: Westbound, Dysart Rd/Exit 129
Length of worst bottleneck: 2.08 mi
Weekly hours of congestion on worst bottleneck: 18
Speed of worst bottleneck when congested: 28.8 mph

Commuter Buzz: "I would think with the holiday traffic I would have hit (gridlock) and I didn't,” Patty Sloan told The Arizona Republic Jan. 8, 2010, after new lanes were opened on I-10.

#30, Penn Lincoln Parkway (I-376), Pittsburgh
Weekly hours of bottleneck congestion: 107
Worst bottleneck: Westbound, Braddock Ave/Exit 7
Length of worst bottleneck: 1.07 mi
Weekly hours of congestion on worst bottleneck: 24
Speed of worst bottleneck when congested: 15.9 mph

Commuter Buzz: "It's tough to do with a road built in the '50s and '60s,” PennDOT Secretary Allen Biehler told the Pittsburgh Gazette after a 70 mile stretch of highway from Pittsburgh to I-80 in Mercer County was dedicated to join I-376 after improvements bring it up to highway standards.

#31, Capital City Freeway, Sacramento
Weekly hours of bottleneck congestion: 140
Worst bottleneck: Eastbound, H St
Length of worst bottleneck: .24 mi
Weekly hours of congestion on worst bottleneck: 27
Speed of worst bottleneck when congested: 15.5 mph

Commuter Buzz: "You never want to be running out in the freeway," Officer Liz Dutton told the Sacramento Bee after a woman was killed on the Capital City Freeway. "Ever."

#32, I-15, Las Vegas
Weekly hours of bottleneck congestion: 119
Worst bottleneck: Southbound, Lake Mead Blvd/Exit 45
Length of worst bottleneck: 1.64 mi
Weekly hours of congestion on worst bottleneck: 21
Speed of worst bottleneck when congested: 25 mph

Commuter Buzz: "You have express lanes ending there, traffic merging in, traffic trying to get off and the Spaghetti Bowl backing up," says Trooper Alan Davidson about the I-15/Sahara Avenue intersection. "Some people aren't paying attention and have to take evasive action to slow down or make a quick lane change so they don't rear-end somebody."

#33, I-84, Hartford, CT
Weekly hours of bottleneck congestion: 112
Worst bottleneck: Westbound, US 44/Connecticut Blvd/Exit 53
Length of worst bottleneck: .16 mi
Weekly hours of congestion on worst bottleneck: 18
Speed of worst bottleneck when congested: 17.1 mph

Commuter Buzz: "We have assured through this settlement that every penny necessary to assure proper completion of the work is done without additional taxpayer money being spent," Attorney General Richard Blumenthal told the New Haven Register after settling a suit against three contractors that flubbed repair work on I-84.

#34, I-94, Milwaukee
Weekly hours of bottleneck congestion: 50
Worst bottleneck: Westbound, US 41/Exit 308
Length of worst bottleneck: .62 mi
Weekly hours of congestion on worst bottleneck: 15
Speed of worst bottleneck when congested: 18.6 mph

Commuter Buzz: “It’s not detrimental. It just creates issues with schedules,” Greg Schmidt told The Daily Reporter regarding soil strength issues on a segment of I-94 that needs rebuilding.

#35, East Independence Blvd, Charlotte, NC
Weekly hours of bottleneck congestion: 33
Worst bottleneck: Stallings Rd
Length of worst bottleneck: .75 mi
Weekly hours of congestion on worst bottleneck: 12
Speed of worst bottleneck when congested: 20.6 mph

Commuter Buzz: “We had people in here last night wanting to sign after midnight,” said Dewayne Moser of Keffer Hyundai on East Independence Boulevard, during April’s Cash for Clunkers program.

#36, I-75, Cincinnati
Weekly hours of bottleneck congestion: 86
Worst bottleneck: Southbound, Ronald Reagan Cross County Hwy/Exit 10
Length of worst bottleneck: .46 mi
Weekly hours of congestion on worst bottleneck: 16
Speed of worst bottleneck when congested: 21.6 mph

Commuter Buzz: "The main gist is widening, adding more lanes for traffic to flow easier," Ohio Department of Transportation spokesperson Liz Lyons told The Cincinnati Enquirer Nov. 2, 2009, about new construction on I-75.

#37, I-65, Birmingham, AL
Weekly hours of bottleneck congestion: 48
Worst bottleneck: Southbound, Highway 149/University Blvd/Exit 259
Length of worst bottleneck: .34 mi
Weekly hours of congestion on worst bottleneck: 8
Speed of worst bottleneck when congested: 18.5 mph

Commuter Buzz: "Situations like this are extremely rare, but it will require a short-duration lane closure to make repairs,” ALDOT spokesman Tony Harris told ABC 33/40 after heavy rains caused a sinkhole.

#38, Loop 410, surrounds San Antonio
Weekly hours of bottleneck congestion: 71
Worst bottleneck: Northbound, I 35 (San Antonio)
Length of worst bottleneck: .45 mi
Weekly hours of congestion on worst bottleneck: 29
Speed of worst bottleneck when congested: 13.9 mph

Commuter Buzz: “It's like, ‘Wow.' I'm breathing a sigh of relief,” Kathy Babb told The Express-News about upcoming construction on Jones Maltsberger Road that will increase access to U.S. 281, which bisects Loop 410. “For all the people who use that intersection, it seems so ridiculous that it was left unimproved.”

#39, Edsel Ford Freeway (I-94), Detroit
Weekly hours of bottleneck congestion: 174
Worst bottleneck: Eastbound, Linwood St/Exit 214
Length of worst bottleneck: .34 mi
Weekly hours of congestion on worst bottleneck: 21
Speed of worst bottleneck when congested: 24 mph

Commuter Buzz: "It's flat and straight and people like to fall asleep out there," says Michigan State Police Sergeant Chris Pascoe of I-94 outside the Detroit city limits.

#40, I-10, El Paso
Weekly hours of bottleneck congestion: 39
Worst bottleneck: Eastbound, Ranch Road 2316/McRae Blvd/Exit 28A
Length of worst bottleneck: .96 mi
Weekly hours of congestion on worst bottleneck: 12
Speed of worst bottleneck when congested: 26

Commuter Buzz: "It's going to be a nightmare to get in and out, I bet," resident Pamela Ross told the El Paso Times, referring to the city’s $9 million plan to add pedestrian amenities to Oregon Street, a major upheaval expected to affect people commuting to downtown El Paso. "But I guess it's all for the common good. I'll just put up with it."

#41, I-195, Providence
Weekly hours of bottleneck congestion: 135
Worst bottleneck: Westbound, Warren Ave/5th St/Exit 5
Length of worst bottleneck: .57 mi
Weekly hours of congestion on worst bottleneck: 25
Speed of worst bottleneck when congested: 16.8 mph

Commuter Buzz: We are now entering a phase where the I-195/I-95 split will unfortunately change several times as we continue building the Iway,” DOT Director Michael P. Lewis said in a statement. “Southbound Route 95 congestion is expected to increase, so we recommend that drivers consider alternate routes.”

#42, I-90, Cleveland
Weekly hours of bottleneck congestion: 59
Worst bottleneck: Westbound, Chester Ave/Exit 173
Length of worst bottleneck: .24 mi
Weekly hours of congestion on worst bottleneck: 15
Speed of worst bottleneck when congested: 15.7 mph

Commuter Buzz: Add a dash of rain, and the road can act like "a section of ice," Brian Beal told The Cleveland Plain Dealer, describing the hazardous pavement sealant that was applied to parts of Interstate 90 last winter.

#43, I-26, Charleston, SC
Weekly hours of bottleneck congestion: 48
Worst bottleneck: Eastbound, Ashley Phosphate Rd
Length of worst bottleneck: .17 mi
Weekly hours of congestion on worst bottleneck: 13
Speed of worst bottleneck when congested: 19.8 mph

Commuter Buzz: "Trucks out of the Charleston port will have to reroute, and small businesses are bound to benefit," David Melton told the Spartanburg Herald-Journal, referring to the I-385’s temporary closing, which will divert more traffic to I-26. "I've already seen a 20 to 30 percent increase in business. We're not trying to take anything away from Greenville businesses, and at least the money's not going out of state."

#44, I-40, Nashville
Weekly hours of bottleneck congestion: 94
Worst bottleneck: Eastbound, I 65/Exit 210
Length of worst bottleneck: .37 mi
Weekly hours of congestion on worst bottleneck: 14
Speed of worst bottleneck when congested: 12.4 mph

Commuter Buzz: "These people can't even hardly talk on the phone, especially in the summertime when they got the doors open," Councilman Buddy Baker told WSMV TV of homes that abut I-40.

#45, I-270, St. Louis
Weekly hours of bottleneck congestion: 89
Worst bottleneck: Southbound, Dougherty Ferry Rd/Exit 8
Length of worst bottleneck: 1.26 mi
Weekly hours of congestion on worst bottleneck: 15
Speed of worst bottleneck when congested: 24.5 mph

Commuter Buzz: "Replacement of the current design with the diverging diamond interchange will not only improve the flow of traffic along the 270-70 corridor, but it will also be a national example of innovation in highway safety and design," Maryland Heights Councilwoman Mary Nichols told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

#46, I 4, Orlando
Weekly hours of bottleneck congestion: 139
Worst bottleneck: Eastbound, Kaley Ave/35th St/Exit 35
Length of worst bottleneck: .48 mi
Weekly hours of congestion on worst bottleneck: 29
Speed of worst bottleneck when congested: 19.9 mph

Commuter Buzz: "You can not build enough lanes on Interstate 4 to take care of the problem," Senator Ben Nelson said in Orlando. "We need to go to alternative forms of transportation."

#47, I-24, Chattanooga
Weekly hours of bottleneck congestion: 20
Worst bottleneck: Eastbound, US 27/Rossville Blvd/Exit 180
Length of worst bottleneck: .68 mi
Weekly hours of congestion on worst bottleneck: 5
Speed of worst bottleneck when congested: 21.4 mph

Commuter Buzz: "That's just the 5 o'clock traffic…It's horrible," Carol Underwood told the Chattanooga Times Free Press of her morning commute on the I-24—a 40-minute drive across 15 miles. “We're not going to change careers," Underwood added, pointing out that the delayed commute is the price she pays for living and working where she likes.

#48, I-95, Jacksonville
Weekly hours of bottleneck congestion: 45
Worst bottleneck: Northbound, Palm Ave
Length of worst bottleneck: .57 mi
Weekly hours of congestion on worst bottleneck: 10
Speed of worst bottleneck when congested: 21.5 mph

Commuter Buzz: "There is a lot of congestion coming out of Clay County," Joe Mobley, vice president of The Fiorentino Group, told the Jacksonville Business Journal in June 2009. "The First Coast Outer Beltway could provide another option for people to get to work."

#49, I-65, Louisville
Weekly hours of bottleneck congestion: 62
Worst bottleneck: Southbound, Court Ave
Length of worst bottleneck: .18 mi
Weekly hours of congestion on worst bottleneck: 18
Speed of worst bottleneck when congested: 19.3 mph

Commuter Buzz: “My legs get tired, moving just a little bit and pushing on the brake. My neck gets tense. (It's) just frustrating. It's monotonous and it's a pain,” says commuter Rosemary Harvey.

#50, I-40, Raleigh, NC
Weekly hours of bottleneck congestion: 45
Worst bottleneck: Westbound, US 1/US 64/Exit 293
Length of worst bottleneck: 2.61 mi
Weekly hours of congestion on worst bottleneck: 8
Speed of worst bottleneck when congested: 27.9 mph

Commuter Buzz: “You just get so stiff and tired and sore before you get to work,” Wes Evans told The Citizen-Times, referring to the approximately two hours of daily driving added to daily commutes on the I-40—the result of a massive rockslide that has created numerous detours.

#51, I-84, Boise City
Weekly hours of bottleneck congestion: 10
Worst bottleneck: Westbound, Highway 69/Exit 44
Length of worst bottleneck: 1.72 mi
Weekly hours of congestion on worst bottleneck: 10
Speed of worst bottleneck when congested: 17.5 mph

Commuter Buzz: "Just pretend like there's an egg underneath the gas pedal under your break," says driver Travis Hymas. "Don't push anything too hard and you'll be alright."

#52, North Freeway, Columbus OH
Weekly hours of bottleneck congestion: 14
Worst bottleneck: Northbound, I-670/Exit 109
Length of worst bottleneck: .73 mi
Weekly hours of congestion on worst bottleneck: 7
Speed of worst bottleneck when congested: 22.7 mph

Commuter Buzz: “Ironically, this morning on my way in, I was behind a gentleman who was driving extremely slow and I was thinking to myself he’s more of a hazard than someone who is going reasonably slow,“ driver Lisa Hartong told NBC4i of 2010’s first weather-induced morning traffic jam.

#53, I-235, Oklahoma City
Weekly hours of bottleneck congestion: 34
Worst bottleneck: Southbound, Harrison Ave/6th St/Exit 1
Length of worst bottleneck: .4 mi
Weekly hours of congestion on worst bottleneck: 8
Speed of worst bottleneck when congested: 16.1 mph

Commuter Buzz: "It's pretty wet," driver Mike Raglin told KOCO 5, describing the roads after early-morning storms. "We had a couple of folks running into each other and stuff."

#54, Highway 201, Salt Lake City
Weekly hours of bottleneck congestion: 10
Worst bottleneck: Eastbound, S 7200 W
Length of worst bottleneck: 1.52 mi
Weekly hours of congestion on worst bottleneck: 10
Speed of worst bottleneck when congested: 21.3 mph

Commuter Buzz: "It looks like the road is wet from here, and you never can tell if it's wet or if it's dry," Trooper Mary Kaye Lucas told KSL5 of a November blizzard that blanketed Highway 201. "The road has little grooves in it, and the water will get in between those grooves and make the road a lot more treacherous than it initially appears."

#55, I-240, Memphis
Weekly hours of bottleneck congestion: 23
Worst bottleneck: Eastbound, Poplar Ave
Length of worst bottleneck: 1.6 mi
Weekly hours of congestion on worst bottleneck: 10
Speed of worst bottleneck when congested: 22.6 mph

Commuter Buzz: "Funding for Memphis' I-240 widening and sound wall project was removed from the state's budget, but allocated and spent for similar projects in Nashville and Knoxville,” Tim Cowan told The Commercial Appeal. “We need legislators to demand equal treatment for this part of the state."

#56, I-65, Indianapolis
Weekly hours of bottleneck congestion: 19
Worst bottleneck: Northbound, 82nd St/Exit 1
Length of worst bottleneck: .9 mi
Weekly hours of congestion on worst bottleneck: 9
Speed of worst bottleneck when congested: 20.1 mph

Commuter Buzz: "The car in front of me slowed down. I slowed down so I didn't hit that guy and I started wobbling a little bit,” one driver told WTHR after a snow-induced accident. “Once it started wobbling I couldn't straighten it out. Ran into the other fellow and I went off on the slope and I guess he went off on the other side."

#57, US 22, Allentown, PA
Weekly hours of bottleneck congestion: 22
Worst bottleneck: Westbound, Highway 987/Airport Rd
Length of worst bottleneck: .76 mi
Weekly hours of congestion on worst bottleneck: 11
Speed of worst bottleneck when congested: 21.1

Commuter Buzz: “There's simply not enough road surface to be had,” explains Dan Hartzell, aka The Road Warrior for The Morning Call. “Motorists will not remain in single file, going slower than they wish, if a lane is available for passing, whether it be to the left or right.”

#58, I-70, Kansas City
Weekly hours of bottleneck congestion: 47
Worst bottleneck: Eastbound, Van Brunt Blvd/Exit 6
Length of worst bottleneck: .79 mi
Weekly hours of congestion on worst bottleneck: 13
Speed of worst bottleneck when congested: 17.1 mph

Commuter Buzz: “I'm just glad to see that [the Missouri Department of Transportation] is doing a common sense project, widening I-70 to three lanes all the way through, which should ease the flow of traffic,” says one commuter.

#59, I-30 Little Rock, AR
Weekly hours of bottleneck congestion: 26
Worst bottleneck: Eastbound, Cantrell Rd/2nd St/Exit 141
Length of worst bottleneck: .27 mi
Weekly hours of congestion on worst bottleneck: 11
Speed of worst bottleneck when congested: 20.4 mph

Commuter Buzz: "I don't get paid until the 30th, and I used the last bit of money for gas to get to Hope and now I-30 is flooded." Nicholas Rogers told THV 11, after heavy rainfall thwarted Christmas travel plans.

#60, I-10, Tucson
Weekly hours of bottleneck congestion: 130
Worst bottleneck: Westbound, 22nd St/Exit 259
Length of worst bottleneck: .71 mi
Weekly hours of congestion on worst bottleneck: 36
Speed of worst bottleneck when congested: 19.8 mph

Commuter Buzz: “It can be closed for hours by traffic accidents (once you leave Phoenix, there’s no alternate route). Anyone who wants to come to Tucson for just 36 hours—and spend four (or many more) hours on I-10—should instead take a flight to our convenient, uncrowded airport,” Jerry Peek wrote on the New York Times Web site.

#61, Coronado Freeway, Albuquerque
Weekly hours of bottleneck congestion: 25
Worst bottleneck: Eastbound, San Mateo Blvd/Exit 161
Length of worst bottleneck: .9 mi
Weekly hours of congestion on worst bottleneck: 9
Speed of worst bottleneck when congested: 25 mph

Commuter Buzz: “There are some people out there driving like maniacs,” says one motorist. “A word to all drivers out there who have to use detour roads, PLEASE, drive carefully and slower through neighborhoods you don't know.”

#62, I-83, Harrisburg, PA
Weekly hours of bottleneck congestion: 64
Worst bottleneck: Northbound, 17th St/Exit 44
Length of worst bottleneck: .15 mi
Weekly hours of congestion on worst bottleneck: 12
Speed of worst bottleneck when congested: 20.2 mph

Commuter Buzz: “Always wondered if the City could be held liable for auto repairs... namely front end work and shocks that blow out way too quickly from driving on these roads,” says “Jersey Mike”.

#63, I-290, Worcester, MA
Weekly hours of bottleneck congestion: 20
Worst bottleneck: Westbound, Hwy 9/Exit 17
Length of worst bottleneck: .37 mi
Weekly hours of congestion on worst bottleneck: 9
Speed of worst bottleneck when congested: 23 mph

Commuter Buzz: “The MAJOR problem with these Highways is not the roads themselves but the JERKS who drive on it,” one driver posted under an article on the Worcester Telegram & Gazette website about the need for physical improvements on the I-290. “Weaving in and out, riding your butt even if you're going 80, 85 mph.”

#64, Crosstown Expressway, Tulsa
Weekly hours of bottleneck congestion: 6
Worst bottleneck: Eastbound, I 44/Highway 66
Length of worst bottleneck: .98 mi
Weekly hours of congestion on worst bottleneck: 6
Speed of worst bottleneck when congested: 16.1 mph

Commuter Buzz: Tulsa World reader Daven suggested politicians see roads firsthand to encourage increased spending on improvements. “Just drive him on the part of the [Inner Dispersal Loop] that has not been repaired and he will see real quick why that was needed. Given that he doesn’t fall into a pothole.”

#65, I-75, Cape Coral, FL
Weekly hours of bottleneck congestion: 19
Worst bottleneck: Northbound—Alico Road/Exit 20
Length of worst bottleneck: 3.9 mi
Weekly hours of congestion on worst bottleneck: 9
Speed of worst bottleneck when congested: 21.8 mph

Commuter Buzz: “You're putting your life on the line every time you drive I-75,” posted one Ocala.com reader.

#66, I-490, Rochester, NY
Weekly hours of bottleneck congestion: 14
Worst bottleneck: Inner loop westbound, Washington St/Exit 14
Length of worst bottleneck: .27 mi
Weekly hours of congestion on worst bottleneck: 9
Speed of worst bottleneck when congested: 18 mph

Commuter Buzz: “The closing of the Lake Champlain Bridge is a wake-up call. New York has ignored its infrastructure for decades, putting New Yorkers and New York businesses in jeopardy,” state comptroller Thomas DiNapoli told RocNow.com.

#67, I-271, Akron, OH
Weekly hours of bottleneck congestion: 4
Worst bottleneck: Northbound, I-480/Cuyahoga-Summit County Line
Length of worst bottleneck: 2.51 mi
Weekly hours of congestion on worst bottleneck: 4
Speed of worst bottleneck when congested: 28.1 mph

Commuter Buzz: "The traffic mess has not been as bad as I thought it would be," Bob Zarle told the Akron Beacon Journal in November 2008 during a construction period. "You see progress constantly, and you see people working everywhere. It's like an ant's nest."

#68, I-205, Stockton, CA
Weekly hours of bottleneck congestion: 28
Worst bottleneck: Eastbound, Tracy Blvd
Length of worst bottleneck: 1.68 mi
Weekly hours of congestion on worst bottleneck: 13
Speed of worst bottleneck when congested: 25.8 mph

Commuter Buzz: “A lot of people I knew were having a time of it trying to get to work on the congested roads,” John Harris told the Manteca Bulletin, referring to a half cent sales tax that has provided millions to improve San Joaquin County roads, including I-205.

#69, I-75, Dayton, OH
Weekly hours of bottleneck congestion: 46
Worst bottleneck: Northbound, Highway 48/Grand Ave/Exit 54
Length of worst bottleneck: .67 mi
Weekly hours of congestion on worst bottleneck: 12
Speed of worst bottleneck when congested: 17.4 mph

Commuter Buzz: After an accident caused by icy roads, commuter Gwen Hymen offered some sage advice for WHIO TV viewers. “I know a lot of people that get in their cars and go, and that messes up your car. I warm mine up an hour before I go.”

#70, I-40, Knoxville, TN
Weekly hours of bottleneck congestion: 12
Worst bottleneck: Eastbound, I 275/Exit 387
Length of worst bottleneck: .64 mi
Weekly hours of congestion on worst bottleneck: 6
Speed of worst bottleneck when congested: 25.3 mph

Commuter Buzz: A silver lining amidst a commuter hell: “I’d say we’ve had at least a 20 to 30 percent increase in business since the rock slide,” diner owner Genia Hayes-Peterson told The Tennesean, after traffic on I-40 was rerouted.

#71, I-690, Syracuse, NY
Weekly hours of bottleneck congestion: 9
Worst bottleneck: Eastbound, Exit 7
Length of worst bottleneck: .11 mi
Weekly hours of congestion on worst bottleneck: 9
Speed of worst bottleneck when congested: 28.5 mph

Commuter Buzz: “Who can even drive 55 in that area, what is there, only one lane open? [You’re] lucky in rush hour if you do 45,” says one commuter.

#72, I-15, Ogden, UT
Weekly hours of bottleneck congestion: 45
Worst bottleneck: Northbound, Center St/Exit 317
Length of worst bottleneck: .19 mi
Weekly hours of congestion on worst bottleneck: 11
Speed of worst bottleneck when congested: 20.8 mph

Commuter Buzz: “It's just like a movie. You see everything in your car flowing with you, with the car. It's pretty cool, but I don't wish it upon anyone," says motorist Cody Graham. "Whatever you do, if you're hitting ice, don't hit the brakes. That's what I learned tonight."

#73, I-26, Columbia, SC
Weekly hours of bottleneck congestion: 16
Worst bottleneck: Westbound, Saint Andrews Rd/Exit 106
Length of worst bottleneck: .58 mi
Weekly hours of congestion on worst bottleneck: 6
Speed of worst bottleneck when congested: 26.5 mph

Commuter Buzz: “We have not determined what the possible fixes are, but if there is a possible funding mechanism, we can look at addressing that. There are issues there,” Randall Young told the Times and Democrat, of remedies to congestion at the I-95/I-26 interchange.

#74, I-55, Jackson, MS
Weekly hours of bottleneck congestion: 8
Worst bottleneck: Northbound, Daniel Lake Blvd/Exit 90B
Length of worst bottleneck: .7 mi
Weekly hours of congestion on worst bottleneck: 4
Speed of worst bottleneck when congested: 26.3 mph

Commuter Buzz: “The oil comes up on the roadway and things get real slick,” says Chris Barnhart of driving in rain on I-55. “If you don't wear your seat belt, you're not going to give it a chance to save your life. That's just a fact."

#75, I-95, Richmond, VA
Weekly hours of bottleneck congestion: 11
Worst bottleneck: Northbound, US 1/US 301/N Belvidere St/Exit 76
Length of worst bottleneck: .19 mi
Weekly hours of congestion on worst bottleneck: 6
Speed of worst bottleneck when congested: 25.2 mph

Commuter Buzz: “If our state is as cash-strapped as politicians profess, and if our road needs are as dire as advertised, we need to restore tolls on Interstate 95,” Richmond Times-Dispatch columnist Michael Paul Williams wrote.

Clark Merrefield was the chief reporter and writer for this ranking.