Motorists in the Los Angeles area spent an average of 62 hours sitting in traffic this year, well above the national average but down 40% from pre-pandemic levels in 2019, according to a report released Tuesday by a transportation analytics firm.
According to INRIX, the Los Angeles urban area ranked as the sixth-most congested area in the nation, behind New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston and Miami.
The average of 62 hours lost to traffic congestion in the Los Angeles area translated to an average cost per driver of $968, according to INRIX, with the amount factoring in the cost of gas, lost productivity and other issues. The national average was 36 hours, with a cost per driver of $564.
Researchers said the 62 hours of lost time in traffic in the Los Angeles area was down 40% from 2019, a continuing impact of the COVID pandemic.
“COVID-19’s impact on transportation has continued through 2021, transforming when, where and how people move. Although congestion climbed 28% this year, Americans still saved 63 hours compared to normal,” Bob Pishue, transportation analyst at INRIX, said in a statement. “The most notable change to commuting during the pandemic — other than reduced travel times and volumes — was the lack of downtown travel.”
Researchers also noted that traffic trips to downtown Los Angeles were down 28% this year, reflecting a national trend that saw downtown trips fall 22% from 2019 levels.
The study notes that many people have continued to work remotely this year, contributing to the drop in traffic heading to downtown areas.
Los Angeles had two of the top 10 most congested roads in the country this year, including the most congested route — the stretch of Interstate 5 between Euclid Avenue and the 605 Freeway. Motorists on that stretch endured an average of 22 minutes of delay at the 4 p.m. peak traffic hour, according to the report.
The portion of the 10 Freeway from Washington Boulevard in West Los Angeles to the Harbor (110) Freeway downtown ranked as the 10th most congested route.
The most congested city in the world was determined to be London, where motorists lost an average of 148 hours sitting in traffic. Paris was second, with a loss of 140 hours.
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