435925080 c010265819 m An eco case for renting an apartment in the city

Yesterday, I made the mistake of thinking I only needed an hour to drive 11 miles in Los Angeles — and arrived 20 minutes late for my interview with Colin Beavan, No Impact Man. If I were making the trip today, I would’ve planned my day differently — because the just-released INRIX National Traffic Scorecard special report shows Los Angeles to be the most traffic congested market in the country — again.

Traffic congestion’s actually gone down in most of the country — but went up by 4 percent in the L.A. area in the first half of 2009. The worst intersection? Hollywood Freeway approaching Vermont Avenue. The worst time to be on the road? Thursday, 5-6 p.m.

But apparently, driving surface streets on a Monday at 3:20 p.m. doesn’t move so fast, either. And while taking the bus would certainly have been more eco-friendly, my trip would’ve taken me even longer than the 80 minutes driving took me. My future travel hopes rest on getting our subway system built out as quickly as possible; as of now L.A.'s rail system comes nowhere near Santa Monica, where I live. If the Subway to the Sea were running now, I could have traveled those 11 miles in under a half hour!

Curious how clogged up the streets and freeways in your city are? Below are the top 10 most congested cities: 

Top 10 most congested cities

1.     Los Angeles, Calif.
2.     New York, N.Y.
3.     Chicago, Ill.
4.     Washington, D.C. 
5.     Dallas, Texas
6.     Houston, Texas
7.     San Francisco, Calif.
8.     Boston, Mass.
9.     Seattle, Wash.
10.  Philadelphia, Pa.

For more details on our country's traffic woes, check out the INRIX National Traffic Scorcard.

Photo by andropolis

How to waste time: Drive in L.A.
Los Angeles gets top honors as the most congested metropolitan area -- again.