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10 US Cities with the Worst Rush Hour Traffic

Worst rush hour traffic


If you work in the city around 8 a.m. and leave around 5 p.m., you’re all too familiar with rush hour traffic. Traffic congestion brings out the worst in us. No matter where you take up roots, turn on the tunes, hit the road and be prepared for a little wait in these 10 US cities with the worst rush hour traffic.

The following list is based on evening peak traffic increase compared to free-flow traffic. Data courtesy of the TomTom Traffic Index.

Chicago, Illinois10. Chicago, Illinois

The only city from the Midwest to make the list, evening peak traffic in Chicago increases by 59%. Chicago itself has around 2.7 million residents, but the Chicago metropolitan area boasts about 9.9 million people. That makes it the third-largest metropolitan area in the USA. Interestingly, Chicago also has the world’s longest continuous street. Chicago’s Western Avenue is 23.5 miles long!

Atlanta, Georgia9. Atlanta, Georgia

Atlanta has less than half a million residents, but boasts a metropolitan area with 6.1 million people. Contributing to the high traffic are the estimated 35 million visitors to Atlanta every year. Atlanta is only the 15th most congested US city, but rush hour traffic jumps significantly. Driving in Atlanta may be confusing if you’re follow street names. More than 65 street names contain the word Peachtree.

Austin, Texas8. Austin, Texas

Texas, as expected, makes our list more than once. As the second fastest growing US city of 2015, it makes sense that Austin has some of the worst rush hour traffic. In the world it only ranks 86th most congested, but the roadways are packed during peak times when compared to other US cities.

Portland, Oregon7. Portland, Oregon

With over 600,000 residents and over 2.2 million residents in the metropolitan area, Portland is growing extremely fast. The city experiences a 61% traffic increase during the worst rush hour traffic in the evening. Maybe it’s the “Puddle Cutters” moped gang from Portland holding up traffic.

San Francisco, California6. San Francisco, California

Home to the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco has the 2nd most traffic congestion in the USA. Luckily, rush hour traffic in San Francisco only ranks 6th in the US. With a population of over 800,000, and an estimated population of 1 million by 2032, the rush hour trend will continue to increase.

Houston, Texas5. Houston, Texas

Houston is the 4th most populated city in the US with around 2.2 million residents and has the 5th busiest rush hour. If you love spending time in your car, work in Houston. Around 45% of the workforce in Houston spends more than an hour commuting each day. With the Astros, Rockets and Texans, there are also plenty of events driving even more traffic into the city.

Is your long commute burning way too much gas? Check out the Chevrolet Volt vs Toyota Prius Plug in.

honolulu, hawaii4. Honolulu, Hawaii

Honolulu is on the south shore of Oahu. The population is under 400,000, but traffic spikes by 68% during the evening rush hour. Unlike in most cities, the traffic doesn’t get Honolulu residents down, as it is the 2nd happiest city in the US.

Seattle, Washington3. Seattle, Washington

Like Portland, Seattle has grown rapidly over the last decade. It has around 650,000 residents in the city, and about 3.6 million residents in the metropolitan area. There is a relatively high percentage of bike commuters in Seattle, but not enough to decrease the 74% traffic increase during rush hour.

San Jose, California2. San Jose, California

The second city from California on our list, Silicon Valley has around 1 million residents. San Jose is the 10th largest city in the US by population. To combat the heavy traffic, San Jose has one of the largest network of bike paths. It’s considered by many to be the bike-friendliest city in California.

Los Angeles, California1. Los Angeles, California

No surprises here. Los Angeles tops the list for the worst rush hour traffic. Traffic in LA increases by a whopping 80% during the evening peak driving time. On top of that, it is the most congested US city overall. LA is the only US city to rank in the top 10 most congested cities in the world. It ranked 10th behind cities like Istanbul, Mexico City and Rio de Janeiro.
No matter what kind of commute you have, there are millions of great vehicles on Carsforsale.com to get you though the traffic storm. How long is your daily commute? Tell us about it in the comments below!

Dustin "Dusty" Rhodes

A fan of nice round numbers and working on tiny European cars, Dusty is the proud owner of a '58 Lloyd 600, a '50 FIAT 500, and is currently on the hunt for a Vespa 400. And, despite all that repair work, he still finds time to write about cars. 

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