Honolulu named worst traffic city in U.S.

HONOLULU — A report released Tuesday ranks Honolulu as the worst traffic city in the United States in 2011.

Last year, Honolulu drivers wasted an average of 58 hours in traffic, and the worst time of the week to be on the road there was on Tuesdays, from 5:15 to 5:30 p.m., according to INRIX, a company that bills itself as being a leading international provider of traffic information.

Honolulu topped the chart in a study by INRIX that analyzed America’s top 100 most populated cities in 2011. Los Angeles came in second, with 56 hours wasted, followed by San Francisco in third place, with 48 hours wasted in traffic.

The top 10 cities in the 5th INRIX Traffic Scorecard found that drivers in America’s 10 worst traffic cities sit idle on average 44 hours a year in gridlock.

Despite the somewhat not-so-green news for Honolulu, the INRIX report revealed a 30 percent drop in traffic congestion nationwide last year, and credited it to an economy still in the red.

“The economic recovery on Wall Street has not arrived on Main Street,”  INRIX President and CEO Bryan Mistele said in a news release. “Americans are driving less and spending less fueled by gas prices and a largely jobless recovery.”

These results are indicative of a “stop-n-go economy,” where lack of employment combined with high fuel prices is keeping Americans off the roads, according to the report.

Cities showing the biggest drops in traffic congestion also were cities where gas prices exceeded the national average at its April 2011 peak of $3.96 per gallon, including Honolulu ($4.48 per gallon) and the California cities of Los Angeles and San Francisco (both peaking at $4.25 per gallon).

Visit inrix.com/scorecard for a complete traffic scorecard.

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