article

03.07.11

America's 50 Worst Commutes

These are the highways to hell. For the second straight year, The Daily Beast ranks the roads with the worst rush hour gridlock. How does your commute rank?

More than merely expensive, long commutes are mentally debilitating. They're also completely, absolutely avoidable. With that in mind, The Daily Beast set out to determine, for the second consecutive year, which cities have the worst commutes—and specifically, which stretches of road within each city experience the worst congestion.

Gallery: The Worst Commutes in America

To find America's Highways from Hell, we started with newly released data from traffic-tracking firm INRIX, which culls data from 4 million vehicles nationwide using GPS units and a smartphone application.

We pared and ranked our top 50 worst metropolitan areas for traffic for 2010 using INRIX's Travel Time Tax—the percentage of time it takes to navigate the area's roadways during rush hour compared to uninterrupted travel periods. Los Angeles, no surprise, fared the worst, with a TTT of more than 35 percent. Then, using INRIX's analysis, we culled:

The worst corridor or bottleneck: A bottleneck is typically less than 3 miles long while a corridor is usually more than 3 miles. A corridor is a stretch of consecutive bottlenecks that experience significant congestion. While many larger metropolitan areas have corridors, smaller areas have only bottlenecks and experience relatively brief periods of congestion.

The rush-hour travel tax for the worst corridor or bottleneck: The Los Angeles section of the Riverside Freeway has one particularly bad stretch of about 20 miles. With a Travel Time Tax of 183 percent, it will take the average driver 183 percent more time to travel this stretch during rush hour than during uninterrupted travel periods. TTT is the price the driver pays for using the corridor during rush hour.

Average minutes per mile: At a rate of 65 miles per hour, driving a mile should take just under one minute. Not so on the Highways from Hell. A single mile on some of these roads can take more than four minutes to drive during the worst rush hours.

Do you drive one of America's Highways From Hell? Read on.

Read the Full List.

#1, Riverside Freeway/CA-91 Eastbound, Los Angeles

Worst corridor: Costa Mesa Freeway exit through McKinley St. exit
Length of worst corridor: 20.7 miles
Rush hour travel time tax on worst corridor: 183%
Longest rush hour travel time on worst corridor 57 minutes
Time per mile during longest rush hour travel period 2.73 minutes

Commuter Buzz: It's an "absolute nightmare," said Dijana Vandenheuvel, who uses the freeway to make deliveries. "I always try to avoid the 91, no matter what. The new lane [that was recently added] may help a little bit, but I personally don't think it will solve the problem because it's so congested."

#2, Lunalilo Freeway/I-1 Eastbound, Honolulu

Worst corridor: HI-92 exit through S Vineyard Blvd./Ward Ave.
Length of worst corridor: 3.9 miles
Rush hour travel time tax on worst corridor: 244%
Longest rush hour travel time on worst corridor 21 minutes
Time per mile during longest rush hour travel period 4.08 minutes

Commuter Buzz: "We've got too many cars at this one location coming onto the freeway trying to go west, and we've got too many cars at the same time at the same location trying to get off going in the west direction," said Department of Transportation director Brennon Morioka last year, describing the freeway area around the Lunalilo. "So you get all this weaving and people merging left and right, and that's the reason why people slow down. And that's how you create that bottleneck. ... Because people slow down when they're merging."

#3, California Delta Highway/CA-4 Westbound, San Francisco

Worst corridor: Hillcrest Ave. through Somersville Rd.
Length of worst corridor: 3 miles
Rush hour travel time tax on worst corridor: 318%
Longest rush hour travel time on worst corridor 11 minutes
Time per mile during longest rush hour travel period 3.76 minutes

Commuter Buzz: Hillcrest Ave. may eventually get improved public train access, and $500 million will go toward widening CA-4—but work won't be completed until 2014. "We've been very successful in applying those dollars to Highway 4," said Susan Miller, director of projects for Contra Costa Transportation Authority . "We've leveraged a lot of state and federal funds."

#4, I-95 Southbound, Washington, D.C.

Worst corridor: I-395 through Russell Rd./Exit 148
Length of worst corridor: 23.9 miles
Rush hour travel time tax on worst corridor: 129%
Longest rush hour travel time on worst corridor 52 minutes
Time per mile during longest rush hour travel period 2.18 minutes

Commuter Buzz: The commute from Prince William County into D.C. is supposed to take around 30 minutes, however "with all the construction going on, you can throw those times out the window," said AAA spokesman John Townsend last summer. Updated estimates added at least another half-hour traveling time.

#5, Bruckner/Cross Bronx Expressways (I-95 Southbound), New York

Worst corridor: Conner St/Exit 13 through Hudson Terrace
Length of worst corridor: 11.3 miles
Rush hour travel time tax on worst corridor: 231%
Longest rush hour travel time on worst corridor 43 minutes
Time per mile during longest rush hour travel period 3.76 minutes

Commuter Buzz: "Long portions of the expressway have no shoulder, so even minor accidents can snarl traffic for miles," wrote Sam Dolnick of The New York Times. "The lighting is poor, and exit and entrance ramps are too short. Most of the road sits inside a trench, leaving commuters to stare at concrete walls, longing for the distraction of scenery. After too long the trench can feel like a crowded coffin."

#6, I-35 Southbound, Austin-Round Rock

Worst corridor: US-183/Exit 239-240 through Woodland Ave.
Length of worst corridor: 6.7 miles
Rush hour travel time tax on worst corridor: 226%
Longest rush hour travel time on worst corridor 36 minutes
Time per mile during longest rush hour travel period 3.32 minutes

Commuter Buzz: "It's time we look to try out-of-the-box, innovative solutions to address our congestion short-term and long-term," said Bob Daigh, former district engineer for Austin's Department of Transportation and member of the committee that authored a state-commission report on Interstate 35, released earlier this year.

#7, Connecticut Turnpike (1-95 Northbound), Bridgeport

Worst corridor: Filed Point Rd. through Mill Plain Rd./Exit 21
Length of worst corridor: 22.2 miles
Rush hour travel time tax on worst corridor: 44 minutes
Longest rush hour travel time on worst corridor 104%
Time per mile during longest rush hour travel period 1.97 minutes

Commuter Buzz: Stamford-Bridgeport "is a lot more congested than Hartford and New Haven," Tim Lomax told the Connecticut Post Online in July of 2009. Lomax co-authored a study of traffic congestion across 90 cities in which the Bridgeport area ranked among the top ten.

#8, 1-405 Southbound, Seattle

Worst corridor: NE 14th Street/Exit 14 through SE Coal Creek Parkway/Exit 10
Length of worst corridor: 4.5 miles
Rush hour travel time tax on worst corridor: 183%
Longest rush hour travel time on worst corridor 13 minutes
Time per mile during longest rush hour travel period 2.81 minutes

Commuter Buzz: According to the Washington State Department of Transportation, "Nearly half of respondents to a recent Washington state Department of Transportation survey rated I-405 traffic congestion as very serious; about half also said they regularly change their plans or go out of their way to avoid I-405."

#9, Bayshore Freeway (US-101 Southbound), San Jose

Worst corridor: Fair Oaks Ave. through De La Cruz Blvd.
Length of worst corridor: 4.2 miles
Rush hour travel time tax on worst corridor: 172%
Longest rush hour travel time on worst corridor 11 minutes
Time per mile during longest rush hour travel period 2.56 minutes

Commuter Buzz: "The interchange causes a lot of problems, and I've even seen people, while just driving it myself, jump from one lane to another just to get on the highway, and that's very, very dangerous," Scott Vandenberg, who works in the area, told the San Jose Mercury News last August.

#10, Kennedy/Dan Ryan Expressways (I-90/I-94 Eastbound), Chicago

Worst corridor: I-294/Tri State Tollway through Ruble St./Exit 52B
Length of worst corridor: 15.9 miles
Rush hour travel time tax on worst corridor: 195%
Longest rush hour travel time on worst corridor 49 minutes
Time per mile during longest rush hour travel period 3.08 minutes

Commuter Buzz: "There's nothing more frustrating than dealing with traffic," said resident Mario Reed, in response to the suggestion of congestion pricing on Chicago expressways. "Whatever that cost would be, I would be happy to pay. It would make the quality of my life much better."

#11, I-5 Northbound, Portland

Worst corridor: Corbett Ave./Exit 298 through N. Tomahawk Island Dr./Exit 308
Length of worst corridor: 10.1 miles
Rush hour travel time tax on worst corridor: 174%
Longest rush hour travel time on worst corridor 30 minutes
Time per mile during longest rush hour travel period 2.98 minutes

Commuter Buzz: "It's not just passenger vehicles, but big trucks," said Sarah Moon, who commutes from Portland to Vancouver via I-5, explaining how traffic grew more congested from 2009 to 2010 due to the reinvigoration of the economy.

#12, CA-78 Eastbound, San Diego

Worst corridor: Rancho Santa Fe Rd. through Mission Rd.
Length of worst corridor: 4.2 miles
Rush hour travel time tax on worst corridor: 150%
Longest rush hour travel time on worst corridor 10 minutes
Time per mile during longest rush hour travel period 2.34 minutes

Commuter Buzz: "It's not surprising it's a hot spot in the county," said San Marcos Mayor Jim Desmond last year following the revelation the route was backed up during rush hour 243 days in 2009. "In the afternoons, I avoid it."

#13, I-494 Eastbound, Minneapolis

Worst corridor: Prairie Center Dr./Exit 1 through Penn Ave./Exit 6
Length of worst corridor: 5.7 miles
Rush hour travel time tax on worst corridor: 159%
Longest rush hour travel time on worst corridor 14 minutes
Time per mile during longest rush hour travel period 2.50 minutes

Commuter Buzz: "You know that in the morning, whether it's good weather or bad, you are going to be sitting out there," said Maple Grove Mayor Mark Steffenson.

#14, Southwest/Eastex Freeways (US-59 Northbound), Houston

Worst corridor: Buffalo Speedway through I-45
Length of worst corridor: 4.8 miles
Rush hour travel time tax on worst corridor: 202%
Longest rush hour travel time on worst corridor 14 minutes
Time per mile during longest rush hour travel period 2.97 minutes

Commuter Buzz: "There's a lot of congestion that we see between 59 and Bissonnet," Travis Younkin, director of Capital Projects for the Upper Kirby Management District, said last month. "There's a lot of Greenway Plaza traffic, H-E-B and Kroger do a lot of business there, and a lot of cars use Buffalo to get from the residential components in West U. to the freeway and farther north."

#15, Southeast Expressway (1-93 Northbound), Boston

Worst corridor: Randolph Ave./Exit 5 through Columbia Rd./Exit 15
Length of worst corridor: 10.4 miles
Rush hour travel time tax on worst corridor: 179%
Longest rush hour travel time on worst corridor 29 minutes
Time per mile during longest rush hour travel period 2.81 minutes

Commuter Buzz: "Traffic volumes on I-93 and Route 24 continue to rise on a year-to-year basis as more people move to the area and use the major roadways," said Richard Nangle, spokesman for the Massachusetts Department of Transportation. "In addition, traffic increases each year in the fall as schools open and families return from summer vacations and resume their daily commute."

#16, Hampton Roads Beltway (1-64 Westbound), Virginia Beach

Worst corridor: Tidewater Dr./Exit 277 through Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel
Length of worst corridor: 6.4 miles
Rush hour travel time tax on worst corridor: 151%
Longest rush hour travel time on worst corridor 16 minutes
Time per mile during longest rush hour travel period 2.49 minutes

Commuter Buzz: Alleviating congestion at the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel interchange won't come cheap. According to a report from transportation analysis firm TRIP, redevelopment will cost $2 billion. "The report lays out a blueprint for the type of transportation and investment the state will need to look at in the long term to continue to maintain quality of life here in Virginia," said TRIP's Frank Moretti.

#17, Baltimore Beltway Inner Loop (I-695 Eastbound), Baltimore

Worst corridor: Reisterstown Rd./Exit 20 through Loch Raven Blvd/Exit 29
Length of worst corridor: 10.2 miles
Rush hour travel time tax on worst corridor: 96%
Longest rush hour travel time on worst corridor 19 minutes
Time per mile during longest rush hour travel period 1.91 minutes

Commuter Buzz: "This project, because of the way they pinched (traffic) to go through the bridge, caused that traffic to go from two lanes to one lane…," Thomas McLamore, an area resident told the Catonville Times regarding a bridge replacement project that has congested the Beltway. "That traffic has nowhere to go but just to simply back up."

#18, Schuylkill Expressway (I-76 Westbound), Philadelphia

Worst corridor: Oregon Ave./Passyunk Ave./Exit 347 through Belmont Ave/Exit 338
Length of worst corridor: 9.5 miles
Rush hour travel time tax on worst corridor: 130%
Longest rush hour travel time on worst corridor 23 minutes
Time per mile during longest rush hour travel period 2.44 minutes

Commuter Buzz: "If I stayed in that left lane every night, I would lose my mind," Robert Scott told The Philadelphia Daily News last month, referring to the wait time in the lane that leads to I-76 West.

#19, North Freeway (I-35W Northbound), Dallas

Worst corridor: Rosedale St./Exit 49B through Western Center Blvd./Exit 58
Length of worst corridor: 9.5 miles
Rush hour travel time tax on worst corridor: 157%
Longest rush hour travel time on worst corridor 24 minutes
Time per mile during longest rush hour travel period 2.54 minutes

Commuter Buzz: "With the heavy traffic we routinely experience on I-35, especially on the weekends, it has been trying on motorists. There have been lengthy backups even before football season," David Meuser, spokesman for the Oklahoma Transportation Department, told The Oklahoman last September in reference to football fans driving to Dallas.

#20, Ventura Freeway (US-101 Northbound), Oxnard

Worst corridor: Camarillo Springs Rd. through Las Posas Rd.
Length of worst corridor: 5.2 miles
Rush hour travel time tax on worst corridor: 62%
Longest rush hour travel time on worst corridor 8 minutes
Time per mile during longest rush hour travel period 1.59 minutes

Commuter Buzz: "There are other things that are on the table—gang crime is huge—but traffic safety hasn't had the momentum it needs to have when you consider that there are 40,000 to 45,000 deaths in the U.S. every year," Oxnard Police Commander Marty Meyer, who heads the city's traffic division, told the Ventura County Star last February. "Who is making that a priority?"

#21, I-285 Eastbound, Atlanta

Worst corridor: Riverside Dr./Exit 24 through I-85/Exit 33
Length of worst corridor: 9.1 miles
Rush hour travel time tax on worst corridor: 139%
Longest rush hour travel time on worst corridor 21 minutes
Time per mile during longest rush hour travel period 2.28 minutes

Commuter Buzz: "Like millions of Atlanta residents I drive on I -285 as an outside sales person six days a week. It is becoming very dangerous in many places," Robert Sauls told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution last December. "I have lived in Atlanta since 1970. There have been no investments in road maintenance anywhere on the highway that I can see."

#22, Dolphin Expressway (SR 836 Westbound), Miami

Worst corridor: I-95 through FL-959/Red Rd.
Length of worst corridor: 5.5 miles
Rush hour travel time tax on worst corridor: 188%
Longest rush hour travel time on worst corridor 17 minutes
Time per mile during longest rush hour travel period 3.13 minutes

Commuter Buzz: "In addition to alleviating congestion and reducing travel times, this project is helping put thousands of Floridians back to work," said Governor Charlie Crist last April, referring to the Interchange Reconstruction Project, which broke ground in November 2009 and is focused on rebuilding and widening the Dolphin Expressway. "Used by over 400,000 motorists daily, the project also enhances the safety of motorists traveling on the Interchange."

#23, Riverside Freeway (CA-91 Westbound), Riverside

Worst corridor: McKinley St. through Auto Center Dr.
Length of worst corridor: 5.6 miles
Rush hour travel time tax on worst corridor: 163%
Longest rush hour travel time on worst corridor 14 minutes
Time per mile during longest rush hour travel period 2.49 minutes

Commuter Buzz: "I think they are always going to be there…," said Rusty Thornton, program manager at the Leonard Transportation Center at Cal State San Bernardino, of bottlenecks on I-91. "We are constantly getting more people into the area, and the distances people travel to work are growing."

#24, I-25 Northbound, Denver

Worst corridor: Evans Ave./Exit 203 through 84th Ave./Exit 219
Length of worst corridor: 15.1 miles
Rush hour travel time tax on worst corridor: 95%
Longest rush hour travel time on worst corridor 30 minutes
Time per mile during longest rush hour travel period 1.97 minutes

Commuter Buzz: "The roads didn't look that bad, it was just a little area right on top of Monument Hill that was really icy," said Ciara Montoya regarding conditions on I-25 last November that caused a 34-car pileup. "Even people who have lived in Colorado all of their lives always seem to be caught off-guard when the weather changes."

#25, I-12 Eastbound, Baton Rouge

Worst corridor: Essen Lane through O'Neal Lane
Length of worst corridor: 5.8 miles
Rush hour travel time tax on worst corridor: 243%
Longest rush hour travel time on worst corridor 20 minutes
Time per mile during longest rush hour travel period 3.39 minutes

Commuter Buzz: "I think that, for the most part, people are not overly excited but are looking forward to trying something new and to improved traffic flow on the interstates," Senator Dale Erdey said during public hearings last year regarding solutions to the addition of I-12 on-ramp traffic signals, as reported last January in The Advocate of Baton Rouge.

#26, Zoo Freeway/US-45 Southbound, Milwaukee

Worst corridor: Capitol Dr./Exit 44 through I-94/Exit 38
Length of worst corridor: 3.8 miles
Rush hour travel time tax on worst corridor: 153%
Longest rush hour travel time on worst corridor 10 minutes
Time per mile during longest rush hour travel period 2.57 minutes

Commuter Buzz: "The top priority of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation is to ensure the safety of the motoring public in the Zoo Interchange," Secretary Frank Busalacchi said last March after a portion of a bridge on US-45 had to be shutdown and rebuilt when an inspection found cracks in the foundation.

#27, Penn Lincoln Parkway (I-376 Eastbound), Pittsburgh

Worst corridor: Lydia St./Exit 2 through PA-51/Exit 5
Length of worst corridor: 3.4 miles
Rush hour travel time tax on worst corridor: 348%
Longest rush hour travel time on worst corridor 17 minutes
Time per mile during longest rush hour travel period 4.97 minutes

Commuter Buzz: "I'd rather go out of my way and put the extra miles on my car than sit in that," Kathy Smith-Dowd told the Pittsburgh Tribune Review of the backups on a specific corridor of I-376 in 2009.

#28, I-95 Northbound, New Haven

Worst corridor: Marsh Hill Rd./Exit 41 through Ella T. Grasso Blvd./Exit 45
Length of worst corridor: 4 miles
Rush hour travel time tax on worst corridor: 116%
Longest rush hour travel time on worst corridor 8 minutes
Time per mile during longest rush hour travel period 2.14 minutes

Commuter Buzz: Traffic congestion is an issue that we're well aware of," Kevin Nursick, spokesman for the Connecticut Department of Transportation, told The Hour last year. "We're working diligently to reduce congestion both on the incident mitigation side and the mass transit side of things."

#29, Capital City Freeway (I-80 Eastbound), Sacramento

Worst corridor: US-50/CA-99 through Fulton Ave.
Length of worst corridor: 7.3 miles
Rush hour travel time tax on worst corridor: 111%
Longest rush hour travel time on worst corridor 15 minutes
Time per mile during longest rush hour travel period 2.08 minutes

Commuter Buzz: "It was surprisingly busy without any adverse weather to deal with," California Highway Patrol Officer Rich Wetzel told The Sacramento Bee last May after several accidents clogged the Interstate throughout the course of a day, including one in which an overturned truck spilled 57,000 pounds of coconut oil on the roadway.

#30, I-10 Westbound, New Orleans

Worst corridor: Causeway Blvd./Exit 228 through End Blvd./Florida Blvd.
Length of worst corridor: 5 miles
Rush hour travel time tax on worst corridor: 149%
Longest rush hour travel time on worst corridor 12 minutes
Time per mile during longest rush hour travel period 2.37 minutes

Commuter Buzz: "The idea is to separate traffic according to where people want to go and eliminate the need to try to merge over, which slows things down, especially in heavy traffic," said Chris Morvant, a state transportation engineer, in January regarding the creation of exit-only lanes on the Pontchartrain Expressway in an attempt to alleviate congestion.

#31, I-485 Eastbound, Charlotte

Worst corridor: Tryon Street/Exit 1 through NC-51/Exit 64
Length of worst corridor: 5.3 miles
Rush hour travel time tax on worst corridor: 131%
Longest rush hour travel time on worst corridor 11 minutes
Time per mile during longest rush hour travel period 2.14 minutes

Commuter Buzz: "(I-485) is too much of a stress, too much of a hassle," said John McLean, a Charlotte resident who goes out of his way to avoid the Interstate. Local leaders are aware of the problem. According to Rep. Becky Carney, a Charlotte Democrat and House Transportation Committee chair, "the No. 1 complaint we hear from citizens is congestion."

#32, Edsel Ford Freeway (I-94 Eastbound), Detroit

Worst corridor: Grand Blvd./Exit 213 through Chene St./Exit 217
Length of worst corridor: 4 miles
Rush hour travel time tax on worst corridor: 115%
Longest rush hour travel time on worst corridor 9 minutes
Time per mile during longest rush hour travel period 2.23 minutes

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

#33, I-75 Northbound, Cincinnati

Worst corridor: US-27/Exit 4 through Paddock Rd./Exit 9
Length of worst corridor: 5 miles
Rush hour travel time tax on worst corridor: 124%
Longest rush hour travel time on worst corridor 11 minutes
Time per mile during longest rush hour travel period 2.28 minutes

Commuter Buzz: "There is nowhere to go if a car runs out of gas," said Sharon Smigielski, Ohio Department of Transportation spokeswoman, to the Cinncinati Inquirer of the Interstate's condition last November. The highway has been under construction since 2008 and widening efforts caused overly narrow lanes.

#34, I-35 Northbound, San Antonio

Worst corridor: Judson Rd./Exit 170 through Evans Rd./Exit 174
Length of worst corridor: 3.8 miles
Rush hour travel time tax on worst corridor: 63%
Longest rush hour travel time on worst corridor 6 minutes
Time per mile during longest rush hour travel period 1.53 minutes

Commuter Buzz: "There is broad support for doing what we reasonably can to improve traffic situations on I-35," Mark Tomlinson, director of the Texas Department of Transportation Turnpike Division told the Austin Business Journal earlier this year regarding the plan to reduce the toll on State Highway 130 to entice truck drivers to choose it over the ever-congested I-35. "I can't think of anything offhand the lawmakers could do."

#35, I-84 Eastbound, Hartford

Worst corridor: S. Main St./Exit 41 through 1-91/Exit 51-52
Length of worst corridor: 6.7 miles
Rush hour travel time tax on worst corridor: 101%
Longest rush hour travel time on worst corridor 15 minutes
Time per mile during longest rush hour travel period 2.19 minutes

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.

#36, 1-10 Eastbound, El Paso TX
Worst bottleneck: McRae Blvd./Exit 28A
Length of worst bottleneck: .88 miles
Weekly congestion time on worst bottleneck: 23 hours
Speed of worst bottleneck when congested: 24.6 mph

Commuter Buzz: "Even if El Pasoans don't think traffic is an issue here, it really is. People deal with it every day," said Edgar Fino, a traffic engineer with the Texas Department of Transportation, as reported by the El Paso Times last September.

#37, US-83 Southbound, McAllen-Edinburg-Mission TX
Worst bottleneck: US-83 Bus
Length of worst bottleneck: .70 miles
Weekly congestion time on worst bottleneck: 5 hours
Speed of worst bottleneck when congested: 28 mph

Commuter Buzz: "It's a very densely-used interchange, and you're going to have those peak hour congestion problems," said Texas Department of Transportation district engineer Mario Jorge of the roadway. "The question is at what point do we spend to fix it, but first we've got to find the funds."

#38, 1-90 Westbound, Cleveland
Worst bottleneck: Chester Ave./Exit 173
Length of worst bottleneck: .23 miles
Weekly congestion time on worst bottleneck: 17 hours
Speed of worst bottleneck when congested: 15.9 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.

#39, I-275 Southbound, Tampa

Worst corridor: Floribraska Ave./Exit 28 through Dale Mabry Highway/Exit 23
Length of worst corridor: 4.2 miles
Rush hour travel time tax on worst corridor: 103%
Longest rush hour travel time on worst corridor 9 minutes
Time per mile during longest rush hour travel period 2.09 minutes

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," Jessica Balanza told The Tampa Tribune. "It has been a mess for the longest time, and I don't foresee it clearing up anytime soon.

#40, Papago Freeway (1-10 Westbound), Phoenix

Worst corridor: AZ-51/AZ-202/Exit 147 through 35th Ave./Exit 141
Length of worst corridor: 6.2 miles
Rush hour travel time tax on worst corridor: 116%
Longest rush hour travel time on worst corridor 13 minutes
Time per mile during longest rush hour travel period 2.06 minutes

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.

#41, I-440 Eastbound, Nashville

Worst corridor: End Ave./Exit 1 through Nolensville Pike/Exit 6
Length of worst corridor: 4.8 miles
Rush hour travel time tax on worst corridor: 152%
Longest rush hour travel time on worst corridor 13 minutes
Time per mile during longest rush hour travel period 2.60 minutes

Commuter Buzz: "I am excited to move at five miles an hour," Jessica West said during an especially rough gridlock on the Interstate caused by a snowstorm in February. "I try to keep my sanity and say to myself, 'What can I do about it? Just deal with it.'"

#42, I-26 Westbound, Charleston

Worst corridor: Dorchester Rd. through W. Aviation Ave.
Length of worst corridor: 4.3 miles
Rush hour travel time tax on worst corridor: 88%
Longest rush hour travel time on worst corridor 8 minutes
Time per mile during longest rush hour travel period 1.83 minutes

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."

#43, I-190 Northbound, Buffalo
Worst bottleneck: River Rd./Exit 17
Length of worst bottleneck: .89 miles
Weekly congestion time on worst bottleneck: 18 hours
Speed of worst bottleneck when congested: 16.5 mph

Commuter Buzz: "There's a lot of work going on between us and the Thruway Authority on the I-190," said Susan Surdej, regional spokeswoman for the state's Department of Transportation, late last year. "Some of the most heavily traveled routes are the ones that are being affected, so that's why it may seem like we're doing more this year."

#44, I-15 Northbound, Las Vegas

Worst corridor: Tropicana Ave./Exit 37 through Sahara Ave./Exit 40
Length of worst corridor: 3.2 miles
Rush hour travel time tax on worst corridor: 103%
Longest rush hour travel time on worst corridor 6 minutes
Time per mile during longest rush hour travel period 1.99 minutes

Commuter Buzz: "You have express lanes ending there, traffic merging in, traffic trying to get off and the Spaghetti Bowl backing up," said 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."

#45, I-81 Southbound, Scranton
Worst bottleneck: I-80/Exit 151
Length of worst bottleneck: 3.75 miles
Weekly congestion time on worst bottleneck: 10 hours
Speed of worst bottleneck when congested: 25.3 mph

Commuter Buzz: "It's to promote safety and be of some help on the congestion," said former Senator Arlen Specter of the $12.8 million in stimulus funds allocated to resurfacing I-81 in 2009.

#46, I-95 Southbound, Providence

Worst corridor: George St./Exit 27 through Charles St./Exit 23
Length of worst corridor: 3.2 miles
Rush hour travel time tax on worst corridor: 92%
Longest rush hour travel time on worst corridor 6 minutes
Time per mile during longest rush hour travel period 2.01 minutes

Commuter Buzz: "This funding will help ease the strain on Rhode Islanders' daily commute, generate local construction jobs, and make sure this important artery remains safe and strong for years to come," said Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse last fall upon announcing the state was set to receive more than $2 million to repair a bridge along the Interstate.

#47, I-40 Eastbound, Raleigh-Cary

Worst corridor: Airport Blvd./Exit 284 through NC-54/Exit 290
Length of worst corridor: 6.9 miles
Rush hour travel time tax on worst corridor: 81%
Longest rush hour travel time on worst corridor 12 miles
Time per mile during longest rush hour travel period 1.66 miles

Commuter Buzz: "You just get so stiff and tired and sore before you get to work," Wes Evans told The Citizen-Times in January of 2010, referring to the approximately two hours of daily driving added to daily commutes on the I-40.

#48, I-65 Southbound, Birmingham-Hoover

Worst corridor: Montgomery Highway/Exit 252 through Jefferson/Shelby County Line
Length of worst corridor: 3.5 miles
Rush hour travel time tax on worst corridor: 56%
Longest rush hour travel time on worst corridor 5 minutes
Time per mile during longest rush hour travel period 1.48 minutes

Commuter Buzz: "Situations like this are extremely rare, but it will require a short-duration lane closure to make repairs," Alabama Department of Transportation spokesman Tony Harris told ABC 33/40 after heavy rains caused a sinkhole in 2009.

#49, I-270 Southbound, St. Louis

Worst corridor: Ladue Rd./Exit 13 through Dougherty Ferry Rd./Exit 8
Length of worst corridor: 5.1 miles
Rush hour travel time tax on worst corridor: 70%
Longest rush hour travel time on worst corridor 8 minutes
Time per mile during longest rush hour travel period 1.63 minutes

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.

#50, I-15 Southbound, Provo, UT
Worst bottleneck: 1600/Exit 276
Length of worst bottleneck: 3.67 miles
Weekly congestion time on worst bottleneck: 8 hours
Speed of worst bottleneck when congested: 27 mph

Commuter Buzz: "It's a much simplified design," said Dal Hawks, project director for the Utah County's I-15 Corridor Expansion Project, which was initiated last year. "There's less opportunity for drivers to be confused about where they are in the system and how they would maneuver."