L.A., New York, and D.C. rank near the top.
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."