No surprise to us, Houston tops the Lone Star State for traffic congestion with a yearly commute time of 78 hours sitting in traffic.
The TomTom Traffic Index says the Bayou City ranked 14th in the U.S. in 2013 -- 23rd in the Americas. Rio de Janeiro, Mexico City and Sao Paulo topped the list. Los Angeles had the worse congestion in the U.S.
“Everybody is getting off 290 to take I-10. Even though I-10 is the widest freeway in the country, everybody is on it right now, so it is really a mess these days,” says KTRH traffic reporter Darby Douglas.
“Then of course 610 through the Galleria by far has got to be the slowest stretch of roadway anywhere,” he says.
There are other trouble spots as well.
“The Gulf Freeway is the first freeway to start slowing down in the morning, it always has been,” says Douglas. “At 5:40 in the morning you'll start seeing brake lights at Broadway, then it just gets worse from there.”
According to TomTom, the worst times to get anywhere in Houston is Tuesday morning and Thursday evening. Researchers found Sept. 19 was the worst traffic day in Houston in 2013. There were truck wrecks during both the morning and evening commutes.
Some say it’s the price we pay for having a good economy.
“Folks are moving here, we're seeing a lot of new residents so of course that means the roads are going to be more congestion,” says TxDOT spokesperson Danny Perez. “We're trying to address that with various projects in the six counties that we cover.”
TxDOT spent a record $1.3 billion on construction in the Houston area last year.
“Some folks maybe work in the Clear Lake area, but live in Kingwood,” says Perez. “Somebody may live in Katy but work in the Woodlands, we're seeing traffic going from all points, its not just going inbound to downtown anymore.”