The New York-Newark area is considered the worst in the country for traffic jams, according to a new report.
The Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim area of ââCalifornia held the ill-fated title for decades in the Texas A&M Transportation Institute annual report, but now New Jersey people can legitimately complain about having the worst traffic.
Researchers say it’s too early to tell whether NY-Newark’s move to No.1 is a temporary thing due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on 2020, or whether the health crisis has changed the landscape of travel in a way that will keep Newark and its neighbors at the top of the list for years to come.
“That’s pretty much all the metrics, it doesn’t matter if you’re talking about hours late, hours per commuter, wasted fuel – all of those things, New York-Newark was number one in the COVID year,” said report author David Schrank, senior researcher at TTI.
Drivers in the region were delayed by a total of 494,268 hours in 2020, according to the report. The average commuter spent 56 hours in traffic throughout the year and consumed 23 gallons of fuel due to delays.
According to the Urban Mobility Report, 2021 sees the fastest increase in traffic levels since 1982, the report’s first year. But, Schrank said, car volume and congestion have yet to return to 2019 levels.
âThe morning rush is still going down, significantly, we’re seeing a bit more congestion in the middle of the dayâ¦ and even on weekends,â Schrank said. “The afternoon rush returns.”
Compared to 2019, daily commuter traffic was nearly halved in 2020, according to the report. In the NY-Newark area, the decline was approximately 42%.
Contact reporter Dino Flammia at [email protected]