The Daily Beast has come out with its third annual " Highways from Hell " ranking, which lists the worst commuting stretches in America. It is topped by roads in Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, and Chicago, but then we get to Texas.
Coming in at number five was a 3.1 mile stretch of Loop 820/I-820 westbound in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area, with the following statistics:
Extra time during rush hour: 6 minutes
Worst travel hour: Friday, 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Extra time during worst travel hour: 9 minutes
Extra time during rush hour: 7 minutesWorst travel hour: Friday 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.Extra time during worst travel hour: 16 minutes
And finally, at number eleven, 6.7 miles of I-35 southbound in Austin:
Extra time during rush hour: 10 minutes.
Worst travel hour: Thursday, 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Extra time during worst travel hour: 25 minutes.
The Beast's methodology was broader and factored in each city's total congestion without allowing multiple appearances on the list--otherwise, highways in Los Angeles and New York would have made up the entire top eight.
INRIX, which released its numbers last week, also found that Austin was the eighth most congested city in America. It was the state capital's first appearance in the company's top ten, and the only Texas city on there (Dallas was 20th, and Houston, 24th).
Overall, congestion in the U.S. was actually down thirty percent, due to high gas prices and high unemployment. So in that sense, Texas traffic is good news. The report noted that Houston's employment growth in 2011 was almost triple the national average (3.2 percent to 1.2 percent), while Austin's average gas prices were ten cents less per gallon than the national mark, making for busier highways and increased commuters in both places.