TomTom Study Reveals Los Angeles is Most Congested North American City

Los Angeles is known for its sunny weather, but it can also be known for having the worst congestion -- not only in the U.S., but in the entire North American continent. GPS manufacturer TomTom has released its North American Congestion Index for the second quarter of 2012, and L.A. comes in first place.

Congestion in L.A. is at 34 percent, with Vancouver trailing right behind at 33 percent. Although San Francisco takes the third spot with 29 percent, things could potentially get much worse next quarter, as its congestion level has jumped 3 percent since the last report. TomTom also notes traffic in Minneapolis (16 percent) and Houston (21 percent) has increased significantly, jumping 2 and 3 percent, respectively.

Montreal slots in behind San Francisco with 28 percent, and Toronto after that at 27 percent, making Canada home to three of the top five most traffic-choked cities in North America. While one would expect New York be among the top five, it surprisingly came in eighth place with 25 percent congestion after Washington and Seattle, both at 27 percent.

On the other end of the spectrum, Phoenix, Ariz. sees the least congestion of the index, at 12 percent. While traffic levels are different across the board, several cities experience the same weekly congestion patterns, with Monday evening and Friday mornings with the least amount of congestion, and Tuesday mornings and Thursday evenings having the worst. Get caught in the worst peak hours and that can cost you a 44-minute delay per hour in Ottawa (number 12 on the list), a 40-minute delay in Montreal, and a 38-minute delay in Los Angeles.

It's even worse across the pond: Istanbul, Turkey is number one at 57 percent, and if you get caught in the busy peak hours, it will more than double your commute time. Warsaw, Poland and Marseille, France take second and third place with 45 and 42 percent, respectively. Stockholm has the least congestion of the index at 30 percent.

TomTom collects data by comparing travel times during non-congested periods with travel times in peak hours, taking into account local roads, arterials, and highways, with all data calculated on actual GPS-based measurements. Check out the top 10 most congested cities in North America below:

1. Los Angeles 34% 2. Vancouver 33% 3. San Francisco 29% 4. Montreal 28% 5. Toronto 27% 6. Washington 26% 7. Seattle 26% 8. New York 25% 9. Chicago 23% 10. Miami 22%

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