Melissa’s Blog

Melissa’s Blog

388964 01: Commuter traffic makes it way along Interstate 93 May 8, 2001 in Boston MA. According to a study by the Texas Transportation Institute, 1.2 million people drive into Boston for work each day. (Photo by Darren McCollester/Newsmakers)

The United States continues to be one of the most congested countries for traffic in the world. Our cities are constantly flooded with commuters and make for horrible traffic conditions on a daily basis. Each year there are several platforms that do surveys about the cities in America with the worst traffic and Boston is consistently in the top 5. This year is no different.

Geolocation technology specialist, TomTom, has just released its annual traffic index for 2023. Their findings came from assessing time, cost and CO2 emission per mile driven. While many will say the top 10 isn’t too surprising, many will also say that it is shocking Los Angeles is NOT #1. Before we get to the top 7, it should be noted that traffic isn’t necessarily always a bad thing. Experts say that heavy traffic means a thriving economy. It shows that people are going out and spending money.

It is also interesting to note that Boston is consistently in the top 10 no matter which platform is doing the rankings. As a matter of fact, last year transportation analytics company INRIX found that Boston had the #4 worst traffic in the ENTIRE WORLD! It was determined that in 2022, traffic cost the average Boston driver $2,270. So did Boston actually improve for 2023? Let’s take a look at the top 7 cities in the country for the worst traffic according to TomTom.

  • #7 Seattle

    Travel time actually increased in Seattle in 2023. I find it interesting that TomTom also lets you know when is the worst time to drive in each city. For Seattle, the worst time to drive is Thursdays between 5-6pm. The average speed you’re driving during Seattle morning rush hour is 21mph.

    Seattle traffic report | TomTom Traffic Index

    Free access to live traffic data and TomTom Traffic Index statistics for Seattle. Check out live and typical traffic in Seattle.

  • #6 Baltimore

    Travel time actually increased in Baltimore last year. It ranks 135 in the entire world for traffic. The day and times to avoid driving in Baltimore are Wednesdays between 5-6pm. The average speed during the morning rush in Baltimore is 19 mph.

  • #5 Chicago

    Travel time decreased in Chicago last year. Chicago’s traffic actually ranks 128 in the entire world. The worst day to travel last year was September 15, it was a Friday. The day/time to avoid driving in Chicago: Thursdays between 5-6pm.

  • #4 Boston

    I highly disagree with Boston’s ranking but according to TomTom, travel time increased in Boston last year. We rank 97 in the entire world for worst traffic. The worst day of travel last year was September 14. It was a Thursday. The worst day/time for traffic in Boston: Thursdays between 5-6pm.

  • #3 San Francisco

    Travel time didn’t change in San Francisco last year. It’s the second city in California to make the top 10 this year. It ranks 71 in the entire world. You’re only traveling 16 mph during rush hour in San Francisco. Avoid driving Wednesdays between 5-6pm.

    San Francisco traffic report | TomTom Traffic Index

    Free access to live traffic data and TomTom Traffic Index statistics for San Francisco. Check out live and typical traffic in San Francisco.

  • #2 Washington D.C.

    Travel time increased in D.C. last year.  It ranks 55 in the entire world for traffic. 205 hours were spent driving last year for the average driver. Much like other cities, the days/time to avoid driving is Wednesdays between 5-6.

  • #1 New York City

    No, Los Angeles is NOT #1. In fact, it’s not even in the top 5. NYC ranks 20 in the entire world for traffic. Travel time increased last year. Avoid driving on Thursdays between 4-5pm.

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