People don’t spend the most time stuck in traffic in New York or Los Angeles. It turns out that Windy City is the best.
The analytics company Inrix says that the average driver in Chicago spent 155 hours in traffic in 2022, up from 104 hours in 2021. This is the second year in a row that Chicago has been ranked first in the United States.
In point of fact, London is the only city in the world with more congestion than Chicago. In 2022, the average driver in London spent 156 hours stuck in traffic.
Frank Nicholas, a delivery driver who has been traveling the Midwest for more than two decades, stated, “It’s pretty congested. I used to be able to get down [from Montgomery] in about an hour on the Eisenhower, but now the Eisenhower is so jammed it takes me almost two hours to get down here.”
One of the reasons for the increased congestion is that fewer people are taking public transportation. In October, average weekday ridership on CTA buses and trains was only 56% of what it was in 2019, and in November, average weekday ridership on Metra was 44% of what it was before the pandemic.
Jackson Pearce, who travels to Chicago on a daily basis, stated, “An hour and a half each way. Honestly on the way home, sometimes its two hours.”
After the Jane Byrne Interchange’s nine-year improvement project was completed, some drivers believe that traffic issues have improved.
“I think it has improved tremendously since the Jane Byrne has been open in the last week,” said Sheila, a local commuter.