10 Worst Car Commutes

“Traffic congestion costs the U.S. economy $78 billion a year, wasting 2.9 billion gallons of fuel and robbing commuters of 4.2 billion hours.”

This article from Weather.com lists the top ten worst cities for commuting.

Here they are:

10. Detroit
9. San Jose
8. Riverside – San Bernardino
7. Dallas/Ft. Worth/Arlington
6. Houston
5. Washington D.C.
4. San Diego
3. Atlanta
2. San Francisco
1. Los Angeles

I grew up in a suburb just south of Atlanta and got out about 9 years ago.  However I still visit quite often and am always surprised by the amount of traffic congestion that exists.  There’s a number of people that commute from two to three hours away, and more and more people are getting apartments in the city where they live Monday through Friday so they can skip the commute.

When are people in charge going to figure out that more cars and roads aren’t going to fix the problem?


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20 thoughts on “10 Worst Car Commutes”

  1. Paul in Minneapolis says:

    I think that the $78 Billon helps drive the economy, even though most is at the tax-payers to pick-up. If it was a bad thing, wouldn’t people change it?

  2. Tony Bullard says:

    Woohoo! We’re Number 3! We’re Number 3!

    You know, everyone complains about Atlanta, but my old 25 minute commute would be made into an hour commute on weekdays by the extra 40 minutes added in the 6 miles around my house in Alpharetta rather than in Atlanta. Not sure if that sentence made sense.

    But that was then, now I bike to the bus (in less time that it took to drive to the bus) and train down to work.

  3. ohio biker says:

    Paul says …
    “If it was a bad thing, wouldn’t people change it?”

    Some will and some won’t. Many of those here
    are changing it by bike commuting. While money
    spent on vehicles (to the extent that labor or
    parts came from USA) will help USA economy, I think
    that very little of what is spent on gasoline
    does very much for the USA.

    It is often all too easy, to put up with something
    for a long period of time, rather than make a change.
    In many cases, if we do make a change, we then kick
    ourselves, for not having done it sooner.

    We could cut our commute time and fuel consumption
    by 20% if we would switch to 4 day work-weeks.
    While not every company might want to make the
    switch, all might benefit from reduced traffic
    due to those that have made the switch.

    This past Labor Day weekend, is a taste of
    what we might be able to enjoy every week,
    if we went to four day work-weeks.

  4. Tony Bullard says:

    I don’t think the four day work week is as feasible as people try and make it. You’re talking about completely changing most of our nation’s industries overnight. My industry ships stuff around the nation daily, and with one less day to ship, we’d be a lot less able to meet the needs of the customer.

  5. ohio biker says:

    With respect to the four day work week, in those
    cases where coverage is needed for more than four
    days per week, the needed workforce is split with
    different people off on different days.

    Naturally, those companies implementing, will do
    so in a way that makes sense for themselves and
    their workers. There is no suggestion that one
    particular implementation will have universal
    applicability.

    Would you stop biking to work, at the first
    difficulty or obstacle, you encountered?
    (While I sure hope not … some might …)

  6. Jason Steele says:

    Atlanta number 3? But we continue widening our roads instead of investing in public transit. How could we be #3?

    Hey Tony, I too ride my bike to the MARTA bus station. I’m in Roswell and ride to the Mansell Park n’ Ride and catch the bus to the train.

  7. Jeff P says:

    Somehow I feel like Charlotte NC has been left out. We must be #11. It takes about 40 minutes for me to drive 11 miles to work. When I commute on the bike it takes roughly the same amount of time.

  8. lady clay says:

    Another Atlanta resident here. I live and work intown and so am able to bike commute (though I take MARTA in the rain). I’m from Houston originally, and I’m shocked it’s listed further down the list than Atlanta – the distances are bigger, the weather is worse and the air is smoggier. Oh well, we’re all losers, really – riding helps a lot more than hair-splitting.

  9. Fritz says:

    The ‘people in charge’ would be you and I. Traffic engineers are already aware that traffic will increase to fill the available capacity.

  10. Tony Bullard says:

    Jason, I get on the bus at the same time, but I’ve never seen you, I tend to make the 8:07 isgh or the 8:18ish bus…you at some other time?

  11. Jason Steele says:

    Tony, I catch the 6:51am bus. Though, these last few months I haven’t been riding my bike as often as I’d like. Have you ridden straight to the train station yet? It’s a great ride. If you’re up for a ride send me an email through my website.

  12. I too ride my bike to the MARTA bus station. I’m in Roswell and ride to the Mansell Park n’ Ride and catch the bus to the train.

  13. john says:

    thank god i ride in detroit.

  14. San Fran gets the second worst rating for car congestion and gets a “Gold” rating from the LAB, http://www.bikeleague.org/programs/communities/

    Maybe it is time for San Fran residents to rethink their choice of transportation. Or does San Fran really deserve their Gold status?

  15. keith says:

    it’s nice to see motown made the list. It is probably the least bike friendly place I have ever lived.

  16. RainCityCyclist says:

    I agree with Fritz…WE are in charge. The changes will happen when the voters demand change. Until then, the car is popular, gas remains subsidized and artificially inexpensive (even at $4+/gallon), and people have grown to expect the RIGHT to drive. There is a feeling of entitlement I see that is rather annoying.

    In my experience, I (unfortunately) only see alot of change when it hits people in the wallte. I suggest we continue to tax our gasoline even more, assess higher taxes to inefficient automobiles, and charge tolls while we increase mass transit. Provide an alternative, but make driving too inconvenient and too expensive.

  17. RainCityCyclist says:

    wallet*

  18. Bill says:

    I knew Atlanta was bad but I didn’t realize that we had it bad off enough to rank 3rd.

    Luckily, for the past 1.5 years, I have been driving/biking against the traffic.

    Since my car habit recently threw itself (by the car throwing a rod and the engine self-destructing), I usually ride the bike down the hill to the bus stop and take two routes in to work and then ride from Emory University to Avondale Station (about 3-4 miles, I think) and ride one of two bus routes home.

    Let me tell you, Atlanta is hilly, humid, and hot so it’s no wonder we’re car (that would be air-conditioned chariot) fanatics.

  19. Tony Bullard says:

    You know Bill, Atlanta is hot and muggy, but I biked to work all through this summer, and it wasn’t that bad. And I’m an A/C fanatic. I run my A/C in my car even when the windows are down…

    Something about the joy of riding makes the sweating not so bad. Then again, as long as you’re moving you’ve got that breeze going…it’s the stopping that sucks. Good reason to skip work and just keep riding all day.

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