Rush hour nightmares: which US cities have the worst backups

Five US cities with the worst traffic congestion: Think your city has the worst traffic? No, Los Angeles, it’s not you. And New York, fugetaboutit.

4. Houston

Houston city planners are trying to ease traffic, but with a radius of 60 miles, the progress is slow-going.

The worst traffic in Houston is during the rush hours, when petroleum engineers, nurses working at the Texas Medical Center, and thousands of other commuters are in transit.

Construction projects are under way to address some traffic bottlenecks, but those projects have created their own problems. “The bottlenecks in Greater Houston coincide with the construction projects there to improve the bottlenecks,” says Sarah Schimmer, a spokeswoman for AAA Texas/New Mexico in Houston.

Depending on the construction delays, the commute from the Woodlands in the north or Pearland in the south can take anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour and a half.

More people have been moving to the suburbs in search of more affordable housing, which has put strains on various roads, Ms. Schimmer notes.

Houston has tried to thin traffic out by building a toll road called Beltway 8, which allows people in a hurry to save some time. However, that is all relative: The Greater Houston area has a radius of 60 miles, says Schimmer.

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