Los Angeles, New York, and Washington D.C. are often cited as cities with the worst traffic in the U.S., most often by the people who live there. But thanks to a recent Inrix study, we know exactly which cities rank near the top. The group analyzed over 100,000 traffic hotspots and identified the 25 most congested cities in the U.S., among the usual parties, there are some unique outliers to make note of.

New York had more traffic hotspots than any other city in the U.S. with 13,608, of course. The worst traffic hotspot in the city was the Brooklyn Queens Expressway east at exit 28A. That traffic, if constant, would cost drivers an estimated $64 billion by 2026 due to wasted time, fuel, and emissions. 

Though New York had more traffic hotspots (13,608), L.A. still ranks as the worst city for traffic overall, with an estimated 10,385 traffic hotspots, and an impact factor of 11,692,591, compared to New York’s impact factor of 8,215,036. The worst traffic hotspot being the 405 North at exit 43 to exit 21. L.A.'s estimated cost of congestion by 2026 comes out to a whopping $90.9 billion.

Washington D.C. comes in at third with more than 6,097 traffic hotspots and an estimated cost of $29.2 billion, and Atlanta comes in at fourth with more than 8,554 traffic hotspots and an estimated cost of $28.9 billion. Dallas, Chicago, San Francisco, Houston, Miami, and Boston round out the top 10. The entire list can be seen as follows:

Rank U.S. City No. of Hotspots Impact Factor 2026 Cost of Congestion Worst Traffic Hotspot
1 Los Angeles, CA 10,385 11,692,591 $90.9bn I-405 N at Exit 43 to Exit 21
2 New York, NY 13,608 8,215,036 $63.9bn Brooklyn Queens Expy E at Exit 28A to W Shore Expy
3 Washington D.C. 6,097 3,758,733 $29.2bn I-95 S at Exit 133A to Fairfax County Parkway
4 Atlanta, GA 8,554 3,714,123 $28.9bn I-285 S at I-20 to Route 23
5 Dallas, TX 6,720 3,644,525 $28.3bn I-20 W at Exit 451 to Exit 466
6 Chicago, IL 7,719 3,631,591 $28.2bn I-90 W at 81A to Exit 56B
7 San Francisco, CA 2,587 3,458,305 $26.9bn I-80 W at Emeryville to CA-4
8 Houston, TX 4,417 3,058,004 $23.8bn I-45 S Exit 46A to Exit 63
9 Miami, FL 6,596 2,449,631 $19.1bn I-95 N at Exit 12A to US-1
10 Boston, MA 4,158 2,429,229 $18.9bn Massachusetts Tpke E at Boston U Bridge to Oak St
11 Seattle, WA 2,675 1,929,802 $15.0bn I-5 S at Pike St to 128th St/Exit 186
12 Philadelphia, PA 6,232 1,896,048 $14.7bn Mid-County Expy S at E Rose Valley Rd to Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge
13 San Diego, CA 1,936 1,602,278 $12.5bn I-15 N at Exit I-215 to Gopher Canyon Road
14 Denver, CO 2,258 1,226,504 $9.5bn US-36 W / I-270 at Exit 1 to Smith Rd
15 Phoenix, AZ 3,441 1,220,561 $9.5bn I-10 W at Exit 138 to Exit 151
16 Portland, OR 2,365 1,154,218 $9.0bn US-26 E at I-405 to NW 185th Ave
17 Nashville, TN 2,602 1,081,459 $8.4bn I-24 W at Antioch Pike to Rocky Fork Rd
18 Austin, TX 1,727 1,076,441 $8.4bn I-35 N at Stassney Ln to Exit 223
19 Columbia, MD 2,856 1,046,558 $8.1bn I-695 CCW at Baltimore Nat’l Pike to Providence Rd
20 Detroit, MI 4,284 1,019,345 $7.9bn I-94 W at Inkster Rd to Gratiot Ave
21 Minneapolis, MN 1,903 799,619 $6.2bn I-94 W at State Hwy 128 to 250th St
22 Stamford, CT 777 729,130 $5.7bn I-95 S at Route 136 to Stratford Ave
23 Pittsburgh, PA 2,744 530,395 $4.1bn Lincoln Hwy E at Fort Pitt Tunnel to Settlers Ridge
24 Baton Rouge, LA 1,090 389,416 $3.0bn I-10 E at College Dr to Port Allen Lock
25 Santa Barbara, CA 174 146,996 $1.1bn US-101 N at San Ysidro Rd to La Conchita

"Many cities are calling for increased transportation infrastructure spending to fix ailing roads, bridges and transit networks," said Bob Pishue, Senior Economist, Inrix. "By identifying traffic hotspots and analyzing their root causes, cities can effectively combat congestion and maximize present and future investments."

Source: Inrix

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