Which US metropolis has the worst site visitors? It isn’t Los Angeles.

They held the title for nearly 30 years, but Los Angeles residents can no longer claim they have the worst traffic in the country, according to a 2020 traffic trends study.

The study by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute ranked the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim area as the region with the worst traffic in the country since 1982. However, the institute’s Urban Mobility Report 2021 showed that the New York-Newark region now has the worst traffic in the country.

The ranking is based on the total number of hours the drivers were late. The New York-Newark region spent 494,268 hours in traffic last year, while the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim region had 365,543 hours in traffic.

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Even if Angelenos can no longer claim that their traffic is the worst, they can blame the COVID-19 pandemic. With a stay at home assignment for much of the year, many California employees worked from home.

For comparison: when the region was still at the top, the total number of hours that traffic drivers spent in 2019, at 952,183 in 2020, is almost three times as high as in 2020.

The decline in traffic was also spread across the country; the 15 cities with the worst traffic volume in 2020 together fell on average from 312,680 to 152,347 total hours.

“Flexible working hours and reliable internet connections enable employees to choose working hours that are conducive to family needs and the needs of their workplace,” the report’s co-author David Closet said in a statement. “And it also reduces the need for street space, which is good for the rest of us.”

New York-Newark also took first place with 56 hours in the average number of hours a driver spent in traffic over the past year. The top 5 areas and hours were:

  1. New York-Newark, 56
  2. Boston, 50
  3. Houston, 49
  4. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, 46
  5. San Francisco-Oakland, 46

While nationwide traffic has dropped to some of its lowest levels in 30 years, it is unlikely to stay that way. Traffic conditions began to rise in September, and with California now fully reopening, Los Angeles could return for its title.

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Follow Jordan Mendoza on Twitter: @jord_mendoza.

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