2012 Ranking

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

The Daily Beast finds America’s worst commutes, with data from traffic tracking firm INRIX.

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 NorthboundCorridor: I-10/Santa Monica Freeway to Stadium Way/Exit 24CLength of Corridor: 3.1 milesExtra time during rush hour: 8 minutesWorst 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 NorthboundCorridor: Belt Parkway/Exit 1 to Main Street/Exit 8Length of Corridor: 3.1 milesExtra time during rush hour: 10 minutesWorst 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 WestboundCorridor: Hillcrest Avenue to Somersville RoadLength of Corridor: 2.9 milesExtra time during rush hour: 6 minutesWorst travel hour: Tuesday, 6 a.m. to 7 a.m.Extra time during worst travel hour: 10 minutes

4. Chicago: Stevenson Expressway/I-55 SouthboundCorridor: State Street/Exit 293C to Pulaski Road/Exit 287Length of Corridor: 5.7 milesExtra time during rush hour: 10 minutesWorst 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 WestboundCorridor: TX-26/Grapevine Highway to US-377/Denton Highway/Exit 19Length of Corridor: 3.1 milesExtra time during rush hour: 6 minutesWorst travel hour: Friday, 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.Extra time during worst travel hour: 9 minutes

6. Houston: US-59 NorthboundCorridor: Buffalo Speedway to I-45Length of Corridor: 4.8 milesExtra time during rush hour: 7 minutesWorst travel hour: Friday 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.Extra time during worst travel hour: 16 minutes

7. Seattle: I-405 SouthboundCorridor: WA-520/NE 14th Street/Exit 14 to SE Coal Creek Parkway/Exit 10Length of Corridor: 4.5 milesExtra time during rush hour: 7 minutesWorst 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 LoopCorridor: US-1/Baltimore Avenue/Exit 25 to MD-97/Georgia Avenue/Exit 31Length of Corridor: 6.3 milesExtra time during rush hour: 8 minutesWorst travel hour: Wednesday, 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.Extra time during worst travel hour: 22 minutes

Get The Beast In Your Inbox!

Daily Digest

Start and finish your day with the top stories from The Daily Beast.

Cheat Sheet

A speedy, smart summary of all the news you need to know (and nothing you don't).

By clicking “Subscribe,” you agree to have read the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy
Thank You!
You are now subscribed to the Daily Digest and Cheat Sheet. We will not share your email with anyone for any reason.

9. Boston: Southeast Expressway/I-93 SouthboundCorridor: I-90 to Freeport Street/Exit 13Length of Corridor: 3.7 milesExtra time during rush hour: 6 minutesWorst 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 EastboundCorridor: Lydia Street/Exit 2 to US-19/PA-51/Exit 5Length of Corridor: 3.4 milesExtra time during rush hour: 9 minutesWorst travel hour: Wednesday, 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.Extra time during worst travel hour: 19 minutes

11. Austin, Texas: I-35 SouthboundCorridor: US-183/Exit 239-240 to Woodland AvenueLength of Corridor: 6.7 milesExtra time during rush hour: 10 minutesWorst travel hour: Thursday, 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.Extra time during worst travel hour: 25 minutes

12. Miami: Dolphin Expressway/SR 836 WestboundCorridor: I-95 to FL-959/Red RoadLength of Corridor: 5.5 milesExtra time during rush hour: 11 minutesWorst travel hour: Friday, 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.Extra time during worst travel hour: 15 minutes

13. San Diego: CA-78 EastboundCorridor: Rancho Santa Fe Road to Mission RoadLength of Corridor: 4.2 milesExtra time during rush hour: 5 minutesWorst travel hour: Wednesday, 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.Extra time during worst travel hour: 9 minutes

14. Honolulu: Lunalilo Freeway/I-1 EastboundCorridor: HI-92 to S. Vineyard Boulevard/Ward AvenueLength of Corridor: 3.9 milesExtra time during rush hour: 9 minutesWorst travel hour: Wednesday, 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.Extra time during worst travel hour: 14 minutes

15. Minneapolis-St. Paul: I-494 EastboundCorridor: US-212/Prairie Center Drive/Exit 1 to CR-32/Penn Ave/Exit 6Length of Corridor: 5.7 milesExtra time during rush hour: 6 minutesWorst travel hour: Thursday, 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.Extra time during worst travel hour: 15 minutes

16. Philadelphia: Delaware Expresway/I-95 SouthboundCorridor: Academy Road/Exit 32 to Girard Avenue/Exit 23Length of Corridor: 8.3 milesExtra time during rush hour: 7 minutesWorst travel hour: Tuesday, 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.Extra time during worst travel hour: 16 minutes

17. New Orleans: I-10 WestboundCorridor: Causeway Boulevard/Exit 228 to End Boulevard/Florida BoulevardLength of Corridor: 5 milesExtra time during rush hour: 5 minutesWorst 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 NorthboundCorridor: US-1/Southwestern Boulevard/Exit 12 to Security Boulevard/Exit 17Length of Corridor: 5.3 milesExtra time during rush hour: 4 minutesWorst travel hour: Thursday, 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.Extra time during worst travel hour: 6 minutes

19. Atlanta: GA-400/US-19 SouthboundCorridor: GA-120/Old Milton Parkway/Exit to GA-140/Holcomb Bridge Road/Exit 7Length of Corridor: 4.7 milesExtra time during rush hour: 4 minutesWorst 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 NorthboundCorridor: Field Point Road to Mill Plain Road/Exit 21Length of Corridor: 22.2 milesExtra time during rush hour: 12 minutesWorst travel hour: Friday, 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.Extra time during worst travel hour: 27 minutes

21. Phoenix: Papago Freeway/I-10 WestboundCorridor: AZ-51/AZ-202/Exit 147 to 35th Avenue/Exit 141Length of Corridor: 6.2 milesExtra time during rush hour: 4 minutesWorst 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 SouthboundCorridor: 12th Avenue to Mack Road/Bruceville RoadLength of Corridor: 5.4 milesExtra time during rush hour: 4 minutesWorst 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 SouthboundCorridor: Fair Oaks Avenue to De La Cruz BoulevardLength of Corridor: 4.2 milesExtra time during rush hour: 5 minutesWorst travel hour: Thursday, 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.Extra time during worst travel hour: 9 minutes

24. Baton Rouge, La.: I-12 EastboundCorridor: Essen Lane to O’Neal LaneLength of Corridor: 5.8 milesExtra time during rush hour: 6 minutesWorst 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 WestboundCorridor: McKinley Street to Auto Center Drive/Serfas Club DriveLength of Corridor: 5.6 milesExtra time during rush hour: 6 minutesWorst travel hour: Monday, 6 a.m. to 7 a.m.Extra time during worst travel hour: 19 minutes

26. Denver: I-25 NorthboundCorridor: Evans Avenue/Exit 203 to 84th Avenue/Exit 219Length of Corridor: 15.1 milesExtra time during rush hour: 9 minutesWorst travel hour: Friday, 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.Extra time during worst travel hour: 18 minutes

27. Portland, Ore.: I-5 NorthboundCorridor: Corbett Avenue/Exit 298 to N. Tomahawk Island Drive/Exit 308Length of Corridor: 10.1 milesExtra time during rush hour: 11 minutesWorst travel hour: Friday, 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.Extra time during worst travel hour: 22 minutes

28. Nashville: I-440 EastboundCorridor: TN-1/End Ave/Exit 1 to Nolensville Pike/Exit 6Length of Corridor: 4.8 milesExtra time during rush hour: 5 minutesWorst travel hour: Thursday, 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.Extra time during worst travel hour: 11 minutes

29. Charlotte, N.C.: I-485 EastboundCorridor: NC-49/Tryon Street/Exit 1 to NC-51/Exit 64Length of Corridor: 5.3 milesExtra time during rush hour: 5 minutesWorst 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 SouthboundCorridor: CA-17 to Park AvenueLength of Corridor: 4.8 milesExtra time during rush hour: 4 minutesWorst travel hour: Thursday, 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.Extra time during worst travel hour: 10 minutes

31. Cincinnati: I-75 NorthboundCorridor: I-74/US-52/US-27/Exit 4 to OH-4/Paddock Road/Exit 9Length of Corridor: 5 milesExtra time during rush hour: 4 minutesWorst travel hour: Thursday, 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.Extra time during worst travel hour: 11 minutes

32. New Haven, Conn.: I-95 NorthboundCorridor: Marsh Hill Road/Exit 41 to Ella T. Grasso Boulevard/Exit 45Length of Corridor: 4 milesExtra time during rush hour: 3 minutesWorst travel hour: Friday, 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.Extra time during worst travel hour: 11 minutes

33. Tampa: I-275 SouthboundCorridor: Floribraska Avenue/28th Avenue/Exit 28 to Dale Mabry Highway/Exit 23Length of Corridor: 4.2 milesExtra time during rush hour: 3 minutesWorst 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 WestboundCorridor: VA-168/Tidewater Drive/Exit 277 to Hampton Roads Bridge-TunnelLength of Corridor: 6.4 milesExtra time during rush hour: 4 minutesWorst travel hour: Friday, 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.Extra time during worst travel hour: 15 minutes

35. Orlando: 1-4 EastboundCorridor: Florida’s Turnpike/Exit 31 to FL-423/Lee Road/Exit 46Length of Corridor: 9.8 milesExtra time during rush hour: 5 minutesWorst travel hour: Wednesday, 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.Extra time during worst travel hour: 12 minutes