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Study: New York City Is Home to Several of the Most Congested Roads in the U.S.

If you have lived in New York City for any reasonable amount of time, you are more than likely familiar with those stretches of highway scattered throughout the Five Boroughs that are notorious for lengthy traffic backups, honking horns, and major headaches. However, have you ever wondered how New York City compares with the rest of the country in terms of congested roads? Do we lead the nation in terms of speeding cars coming to a screeching halt during the morning and nighttime commutes?

According to a recently released report by the Texas Transportation Institute at Texas A&M University, New York City has some of the most congested roads in the nation, but does not take first place honors. This dubious distinction belongs to Los Angeles.

The report took a comprehensive approach to determine which 328 stretches of U.S. highways are the most congested. Specifically, it examined the number of person-hours lost sitting in traffic, the number of gallons of fuel wasted sitting in traffic and the overall cost of congestion.

"This is the first nationwide effort that we have had to really identify reliability problems on specific stretches of highway," said researcher Bill Eisele. "Up until now, we have identified average congestion levels, but people know that congestion isn't just an average problem."

Los Angeles was found to be home to nine of the top 20 most congested stretches of highway in the nation. Somewhat surprisingly, New York had only four of the top 20 most congested highway stretches.

These include (in order):

  • Van Wyck Expressway/I-678 NB (From Belt Pkwy/Exit 1 to Main St/Exit 8)(#4)
  • I-278 EB (Gowanus Expressway/Brooklyn Queens) (From 92nd St/Exit 17 to Apollo St/Meeker Ave/Exit 34)(#11)
  • I-278 WB (Brooklyn Queens/Gowanus Expressway)(From NY-25A/Northern Blvd/Exit 41 to NY-27/Prospect Expressway/Exit 24 )(#13)
  • Van Wyck Expressway/I-678 SB (From Horace Harding Expressway/Exit 12A to Linden Blvd/Exit 3)(#19)

Interestingly, the researchers found that while the 328 stretches of highway identified in the report account for only six percent of the total freeway lane miles in the U.S. and 10 percent of traffic, they were still responsible for 36 percent of all U.S. freeway congestion.

"Our hope is that this report will shed some light on those areas around the country that are causing the most congestion, and the areas around the country where added investment would mean real improvements," said Eisele.

Stay tuned for more from our New York traffic law blog ...

If you or a loved one has received a speeding ticket or other traffic violation, don't just dismiss it.

Instead, consider contacting an attorney who understands New York's confusing legal system, and who can help you evaluate your options and make the right decisions.

This post was provided for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice.


MSNBC, "Nightmare roads identified in congestion study" Nov. 15, 2011

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