Section of Harbor Freeway Named Nation's Most Congested

Los Angeles dominates new traffic congestion report

Although the news should come as no surprise to Southland drivers, a new report (PDF) has named a northbound stretch of the Harbor Freeway (110) near downtown as the most congested stretch of freeway in the nation.

"I believe it," driver Rick Salazar said. "Go down Figueroa and avoid that freeway."

Interactive Map: LA's Most Congested Freeways

LA took 17 of the top 40 spots, including seven of the top 10, in the Congested Corridors Report by the Texas Transportation Institute, one of the nation's leaders in transportation research.

"I think what it tells me is Los Angeles has a lot of people and it has a lot of activity centers," said study co-author Bill Eisele. "Sure there's a downtown that a lot of people need to get to, but there's also a lot of other communities in the LA basin where people have to travel."

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Typical commutes, such as dropping the kids off at school or visiting a doctor, are magnified by the sheer size of Los Angeles, said Eisele.

"On top of that, I would suggest that you've got trucking and service vehicles to provide the goods and services to that large of a population," Eisele said.

The new report, released Tuesday, is the first time TTI has broken down congestion by specific corridors, said Eisele.

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Coming in at No. 2 on the congestion leaders list is a different stretch of the northbound 110 Freeway, between 111th Place and the 10 Freeway.

The 13.1-mile stretch of the northbound 405 Freeway, between the 105 and Getty Center Drive, was third.

The complete report is available online.

Of the 328 U.S. freeway corridors researchers examined, 6 percent were responsible for 36 percent of congestion on the nation's urban freeways.

The report also measured stretches of road that were "reliably unreliable," meaning drivers have to budget extra time in case traffic pops up. LA had little representation in that top 40, as LA freeways are consistent -- consistently congested, said Eisele.

Another section of the report looks at the worst highways for fuel economy.  The worst offender in that category is a 27-mile stretch of the 101 from the West Valley to Downtown LA. John Markarian drives much of that stretch on his way to work every day.

"If you leave after 6:30, it's a 23-mile drive. It could take you around an hour." said Markarian, who commutes from the West Valley to Hollywood.  "And you've got the intersection of the 101 at the 405, which is terrible."

TTI is known for its annual urban mobility report, which ranks congestion among regions. In 2011, as a region, the Southland ranked third as for the most hours lost due to congestion.

Interactive Map of LA's Most Congested Freeways:

View Los Angeles Congestion Leaders 2011 in a larger map

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