We're No. 1: Chicago ranks as worst American city for traffic delays, study shows

A study conducted by Inrix, a traffic data firm, showed Chicago-area commuters spent more time in traffic than drivers in any other American city. Photo credit Getty Images

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) — When it came to the amount of time the average commuter spent stuck in traffic in 2022, Chicago topped the list in a study of U.S. cities.

The study was conducted by the traffic data firm Inrix, where Bob Pishue works as the transportation analyst.

He said the number of hours that the average Chicago-area driver was stuck in traffic delays while commuting rose by about 50% in 2022, and it was about 7% higher than before the pandemic.

Those delays, Pishue said, cost Chicagoland residents much more than time.

“What we found is that the typical commuter in Chicago paid $242 more last year for fuel than in 2021, simply to go the same distance, so it definitely hits the pocketbook,” Pishue said.

The study also estimates the additional time commuters were stuck in traffic cost the Chicago-area's economy about $9.5 billion.

Pishue added that the way bad traffic grew in Chicago was different than in other American cities.

“In a lot of American cities, we saw the morning commute come back, and that is no different in Chicago,” he said. “But what we saw in Chicago was actually that the afternoon commute was up more, even, than the increase in the morning commute.”

The study also blamed the rise in commuting delays on Chicago-area roads, in-part, on a slower rebound in people opting for mass transit following the pandemic.

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Getty Images