2012 Ranking

05.29.12

America’s Highways from Hell 2012, From Los Angeles to New York City

With summer just around the corner, plenty of roadtrips are being planned to get out of America’s cities. But some urban areas make escaping not so easy. The Daily Beast crunches the numbers for the third year in a row to find America’s Highways from Hell, from Dallas to Orlando.

What’s an extra 10 minutes in the car? Not much. But when you add up the daily commute in some of America’s worst traffic jams, a whole work week is lost to rush hour. As Americans get ready to hit the road this summer to get out of town, they’ll add even more sets of wheels to the road in pursuit of a slower-paced vacation. With that in mind, The Daily Beast wanted to find, for the third year in a row, the worst commutes in America: our Highways from Hell.

To find this year’s Highways from Hell, we used new research from traffic-tracking firm INRIX, which collects data from more than 100 million vehicles across the country. Specifically, we sliced and diced the INRIX Traffic Index, a score that accounts for the amount of extra time it takes to drive through a particular corridor of highway during rush hour, and the length of that corridor. We first ranked each city based on these scores, totaling the INRIX Index for each gridlocked corridor in each city, and then we highlighted the worst corridor in each city. The winner (or, loser)? Los Angeles, of course, followed by New York City and San Francisco.

Somewhat surprisingly, the INRIX report shows a 30 percent drop in traffic across the country over the past year. The reasons, according to INRIX’s Jim Bak, include rising fuel prices, relatively few jobs created in urban areas, and the completion of stimulus projects resulting in less road construction.

Are you planning to drive on one of America’s Highways from Hell this summer? Read on to find out.

1. Los Angeles: Harbor Freeway/CA-100 Northbound

Corridor: I-10/Santa Monica Freeway to Stadium Way/Exit 24C
Length of Corridor: 3.1 miles
Extra time during rush hour: 8 minutes
Worst travel hour: Tuesday, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Extra time during worst travel hour: 11 minutes

2. New York City: Van Wyck Expressway/I-678 Northbound

Corridor: Belt Parkway/Exit 1 to Main Street/Exit 8
Length of Corridor: 3.1 miles
Extra time during rush hour: 10 minutes
Worst travel hour: Monday, 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.
Extra time during worst travel hour: 12 minutes

3. San Francisco: California Delta Highway/CA-4 Westbound

Corridor: Hillcrest Avenue to Somersville Road
Length of Corridor: 2.9 miles
Extra time during rush hour: 6 minutes
Worst travel hour: Tuesday, 6 a.m. to 7 a.m.
Extra time during worst travel hour: 10 minutes

4. Chicago: Stevenson Expressway/I-55 Southbound

Corridor: State Street/Exit 293C to Pulaski Road/Exit 287
Length of Corridor: 5.7 miles
Extra time during rush hour: 10 minutes
Worst travel hour: Thursday, 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Extra time during worst travel hour: 16 minutes

5. Dallas-Ft. Worth: Loop 820/I-820 Westbound

Corridor: TX-26/Grapevine Highway to US-377/Denton Highway/Exit 19
Length of Corridor: 3.1 miles
Extra time during rush hour: 6 minutes
Worst travel hour: Friday, 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Extra time during worst travel hour: 9 minutes

6. Houston: US-59 Northbound

Corridor: Buffalo Speedway to I-45
Length of Corridor: 4.8 miles
Extra time during rush hour: 7 minutes
Worst travel hour: Friday 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Extra time during worst travel hour: 16 minutes

7. Seattle: I-405 Southbound

Corridor: WA-520/NE 14th Street/Exit 14 to SE Coal Creek Parkway/Exit 10
Length of Corridor: 4.5 miles
Extra time during rush hour: 7 minutes
Worst travel hour: Thursday, 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Extra time during worst travel hour: 15 minutes

8. Washington, D.C.: Capital Beltway/I-495 Outer Loop

Corridor: US-1/Baltimore Avenue/Exit 25 to MD-97/Georgia Avenue/Exit 31
Length of Corridor: 6.3 miles
Extra time during rush hour: 8 minutes
Worst travel hour: Wednesday, 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.
Extra time during worst travel hour: 22 minutes

9. Boston: Southeast Expressway/I-93 Southbound

Corridor: I-90 to Freeport Street/Exit 13
Length of Corridor: 3.7 miles
Extra time during rush hour: 6 minutes
Worst travel hour: Friday, 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Extra time during worst travel hour: 7 minutes

10. Pittsburgh: Penn Lincoln Parkway/I-376 Eastbound

Corridor: Lydia Street/Exit 2 to US-19/PA-51/Exit 5
Length of Corridor: 3.4 miles
Extra time during rush hour: 9 minutes
Worst travel hour: Wednesday, 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.
Extra time during worst travel hour: 19 minutes

11. Austin, Texas: I-35 Southbound

Corridor: US-183/Exit 239-240 to Woodland Avenue
Length of Corridor: 6.7 miles
Extra time during rush hour: 10 minutes
Worst travel hour: Thursday, 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Extra time during worst travel hour: 25 minutes

12. Miami: Dolphin Expressway/SR 836 Westbound

Corridor: I-95 to FL-959/Red Road
Length of Corridor: 5.5 miles
Extra time during rush hour: 11 minutes
Worst travel hour: Friday, 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Extra time during worst travel hour: 15 minutes

13. San Diego: CA-78 Eastbound

Corridor: Rancho Santa Fe Road to Mission Road
Length of Corridor: 4.2 miles
Extra time during rush hour: 5 minutes
Worst travel hour: Wednesday, 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Extra time during worst travel hour: 9 minutes

14. Honolulu: Lunalilo Freeway/I-1 Eastbound

Corridor: HI-92 to S. Vineyard Boulevard/Ward Avenue
Length of Corridor: 3.9 miles
Extra time during rush hour: 9 minutes
Worst travel hour: Wednesday, 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Extra time during worst travel hour: 14 minutes

15. Minneapolis-St. Paul: I-494 Eastbound

Corridor: US-212/Prairie Center Drive/Exit 1 to CR-32/Penn Ave/Exit 6
Length of Corridor: 5.7 miles
Extra time during rush hour: 6 minutes
Worst travel hour: Thursday, 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Extra time during worst travel hour: 15 minutes

16. Philadelphia: Delaware Expresway/I-95 Southbound

Corridor: Academy Road/Exit 32 to Girard Avenue/Exit 23
Length of Corridor: 8.3 miles
Extra time during rush hour: 7 minutes
Worst travel hour: Tuesday, 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.
Extra time during worst travel hour: 16 minutes

17. New Orleans: I-10 Westbound

Corridor: Causeway Boulevard/Exit 228 to End Boulevard/Florida Boulevard
Length of Corridor: 5 miles
Extra time during rush hour: 5 minutes
Worst travel hour: Thursday, 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Extra time during worst travel hour: 11 minutes

18. Baltimore: Baltimore Beltway Inner Loop/I-695 Northbound

Corridor: US-1/Southwestern Boulevard/Exit 12 to Security Boulevard/Exit 17
Length of Corridor: 5.3 miles
Extra time during rush hour: 4 minutes
Worst travel hour: Thursday, 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Extra time during worst travel hour: 6 minutes

19. Atlanta: GA-400/US-19 Southbound

Corridor: GA-120/Old Milton Parkway/Exit to GA-140/Holcomb Bridge Road/Exit 7
Length of Corridor: 4.7 miles
Extra time during rush hour: 4 minutes
Worst travel hour: Tuesday, 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.
Extra time during worst travel hour: 14 minutes

20. Bridgeport, Conn.: Connecticut Turnpike/I-95 Northbound

Corridor: Field Point Road to Mill Plain Road/Exit 21
Length of Corridor: 22.2 miles
Extra time during rush hour: 12 minutes
Worst travel hour: Friday, 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Extra time during worst travel hour: 27 minutes

21. Phoenix: Papago Freeway/I-10 Westbound

Corridor: AZ-51/AZ-202/Exit 147 to 35th Avenue/Exit 141
Length of Corridor: 6.2 miles
Extra time during rush hour: 4 minutes
Worst travel hour: Thursday, 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Extra time during worst travel hour: 10 minutes

22. Sacramento, Calif.: S. Sacramento Freeway/CA-99 Southbound

Corridor: 12th Avenue to Mack Road/Bruceville Road
Length of Corridor: 5.4 miles
Extra time during rush hour: 4 minutes
Worst travel hour: Wednesday, 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Extra time during worst travel hour: 7 minutes

23. San Jose: Bayshore Freeway/US-101 Southbound

Corridor: Fair Oaks Avenue to De La Cruz Boulevard
Length of Corridor: 4.2 miles
Extra time during rush hour: 5 minutes
Worst travel hour: Thursday, 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Extra time during worst travel hour: 9 minutes

24. Baton Rouge, La.: I-12 Eastbound

Corridor: Essen Lane to O’Neal Lane
Length of Corridor: 5.8 miles
Extra time during rush hour: 6 minutes
Worst travel hour: Thursday, 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Extra time during worst travel hour: 18 minutes

25. Riverside, Calif.: Riverside Freeway/CA-91 Westbound

Corridor: McKinley Street to Auto Center Drive/Serfas Club Drive
Length of Corridor: 5.6 miles
Extra time during rush hour: 6 minutes
Worst travel hour: Monday, 6 a.m. to 7 a.m.
Extra time during worst travel hour: 19 minutes

26. Denver: I-25 Northbound

Corridor: Evans Avenue/Exit 203 to 84th Avenue/Exit 219
Length of Corridor: 15.1 miles
Extra time during rush hour: 9 minutes
Worst travel hour: Friday, 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Extra time during worst travel hour: 18 minutes

27. Portland, Ore.: I-5 Northbound

Corridor: Corbett Avenue/Exit 298 to N. Tomahawk Island Drive/Exit 308
Length of Corridor: 10.1 miles
Extra time during rush hour: 11 minutes
Worst travel hour: Friday, 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Extra time during worst travel hour: 22 minutes

28. Nashville: I-440 Eastbound

Corridor: TN-1/End Ave/Exit 1 to Nolensville Pike/Exit 6
Length of Corridor: 4.8 miles
Extra time during rush hour: 5 minutes
Worst travel hour: Thursday, 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Extra time during worst travel hour: 11 minutes

29. Charlotte, N.C.: I-485 Eastbound

Corridor: NC-49/Tryon Street/Exit 1 to NC-51/Exit 64
Length of Corridor: 5.3 miles
Extra time during rush hour: 5 minutes
Worst travel hour: Thursday, 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Extra time during worst travel hour: 11 minutes

30. Santa Cruz, Calif.: Cabrillo Highway/CA-1 Southbound

Corridor: CA-17 to Park Avenue
Length of Corridor: 4.8 miles
Extra time during rush hour: 4 minutes
Worst travel hour: Thursday, 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Extra time during worst travel hour: 10 minutes

31. Cincinnati: I-75 Northbound

Corridor: I-74/US-52/US-27/Exit 4 to OH-4/Paddock Road/Exit 9
Length of Corridor: 5 miles
Extra time during rush hour: 4 minutes
Worst travel hour: Thursday, 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Extra time during worst travel hour: 11 minutes

32. New Haven, Conn.: I-95 Northbound

Corridor: Marsh Hill Road/Exit 41 to Ella T. Grasso Boulevard/Exit 45
Length of Corridor: 4 miles
Extra time during rush hour: 3 minutes
Worst travel hour: Friday, 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Extra time during worst travel hour: 11 minutes

33. Tampa: I-275 Southbound

Corridor: Floribraska Avenue/28th Avenue/Exit 28 to Dale Mabry Highway/Exit 23
Length of Corridor: 4.2 miles
Extra time during rush hour: 3 minutes
Worst travel hour: Friday, 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Extra time during worst travel hour: 9 minutes

34. Norfolk, Va.: Hampton Roads Beltway/I-64 Westbound

Corridor: VA-168/Tidewater Drive/Exit 277 to Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel
Length of Corridor: 6.4 miles
Extra time during rush hour: 4 minutes
Worst travel hour: Friday, 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Extra time during worst travel hour: 15 minutes

35. Orlando: 1-4 Eastbound

Corridor: Florida’s Turnpike/Exit 31 to FL-423/Lee Road/Exit 46
Length of Corridor: 9.8 miles
Extra time during rush hour: 5 minutes
Worst travel hour: Wednesday, 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Extra time during worst travel hour: 12 minutes