San Diego's Traffic Makes Top 10 Worst | NBC 7 San Diego

San Diego's Traffic Makes Top 10 Worst

Drivers spend 52 hours a year in traffic

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    The annual study of worst traffic cities has San Diego in the top 10 worst.

    If you drive along interstate 15 during the morning or evening rush-hour, this is probably no surprise. San Diego drivers spend more time stuck in traffic than almost anywhere else in the country.

    Out of 439 urban areas included in a study by the Texas Transportation Institute, San Diego was ninth.  Drivers here spend an average of 52 hours per year sitting in traffic.

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    Imagine sitting in traffic for 52 hours. According to one study that's what drivers do in San Diego every year. (Published Thursday, July 9, 2009)

    It should also be no surprise California cities took five of the top 14 spots. Los Angeles was the worst, with drivers spending an average of 70 hours a year in traffic.  In fact, in this annual study that started in 1982, L.A. has been the worst traffic city every year.  San Jose, San Francisco/Oakland, and San Bernadino all finished in that top 14.

    This year, researchers who put the study together said, overall, traffic in the country is down only slightly.  Since the numbers come from 2007, they attributed the slight drop in traffic to the increase in gas prices during the second half of that year.

    Citing California during the recession in the 90's, and Texas in the mid-1980's, the researchers said we can expect traffic to increase in the future.

    "In each of those cases, when the economy rebounded, so did the traffic problem," said researcher David Schrank.

    According to the study, nationwide, the total amount of fuel wasted sitting in traffic was more than 2.8 billion gallons which averaged out to $750 per traveler.