Miami Somehow Has Only Seventh-Worst Traffic in America

Miami Somehow Has Only Seventh-Worst Traffic in America
Photo by Gracia Maria Cuzzi's Flickr via MNT Flickr Pool

Next time you're sitting in gridlock on the Palmetto Expressway or spending a half-hour to drive four blocks on South Beach during rush hour, console yourself with the fact that six other metro areas in the United States have worse traffic. 

Does that relieve you? As your grip slowly tightens on your steering wheel and you're about to shout expletives at everyone within a mile, you can just take a deep breath and think, Well, at least I'm not in San Francisco

Look on the bright side. It could be slightly, slightly worse. 

The rankings come from GPS navigation company TomTom. The company's devices log congestion levels and travel times into a historical traffic database. Every year, those numbers, along with data provided by the company's partners, are used in the Traffic Index Ratings.

Miami comes in as seventh-worst in the nation. It has held that rank the past few years despite the fact that traffic here continues to worsen. 

Miamians spend about 28 percent more time sitting in traffic thanks to road overcongestion. That's actually up 1 percent from last year, and traffic has slowly grown worse year after year. In 2008, the first year TomTom kept data, the level was only 18 percent. 

Regular roads have worse congestion than highways. Travel time on regular roads has increased by 36 percent because of congestion, compared to 16 percent on highways. 

All in all, that works out to about 33 minutes extra in the car per day for the average Miamian. That doesn't seem that bad. But it translates to 125 hours a year. 

Oh, TomTom also provided the worse day for traffic in 2015. It was Thursday, December 3. Yes, that was during Art Basel. 

At least we're not in Los Angeles, where people spend an extra 41 percent increase of time in cars due to traffic, or San Francisco, where there's a 36 percent increase. 

New York, Seattle, San Jose, and Honolulu also have traffic that's worse than Miami's. 

See? It all could be so much worse. Just remember that fact the next time you want to rear-end the car in front of you out of spite and frustration. 

Of course, if you really want to escape traffic, you could move to Knoxville, Tennessee — the least-congested city in America. But who would want to do that? 


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