NYC Was America’s Most Congested City in 2020

A quiet Manhattan street during the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

New York City has achieved the dubious title of the American city with the most egregious traffic congestion.

According to the INRIX Global Traffic Scorecard, the average New York commuter spent over a hundred extra hours sitting in traffic in 2020, even accounting for the ongoing pandemic, WCBS 880 reported.

Outside of New York, the average American loses 26 hours to needless traffic.

In 2019, Boston held the record. But in 2020, rates dropped to 48 hours of congestion.

In contrast to many other cities, New York City did not see as significant a drop in commuting during the pandemic and its various lockdowns, which vaulted the five boroughs to top place.

“Across the country, we saw traffic congestion levels drop in pretty much every major city” due to coronavirus restrictions, said INRIX analyst Bob Pishue. “They dropped in New York too, about 28%, but other places dropped more, which vaulted New York to the top in the U.S.”

Pishue noted that it may take years before traffic returns to pre-pandemic levels, as employers and employees realize that, for many, working from home is a viable business model.


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