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4. Austin

4. Austin
Congestion score: 20.7
Population density: 406.7 people per sq. mile (70th highest)
Average commute time: 25.8 minutes (45th highest)
Percentage driving to work: 85.8% (47th lowest)

No metro area with more than a million residents had a greater percentage increase in population from July 1, 2011, and July 1, 2012, than Austin’s 3% growth, according to the Austin Statesman. This is hardly news for the area, which has expanded rapidly for more than a decade and, like much of the state, has been unable to expand transportation infrastructure to handle this growth. In 2012, Austin was one of four metro areas with an INRIX index score higher than 20, well above the 6.6 score for the U.S. overall. It was also one of just six large metro areas in which the INRIX index score worsened compared with the year before.

The 10 U.S. cities with the worst traffic

Last year, the average American driver wasted 38 hours sitting in

traffic. While the occasional traffic jam inconveniences most drivers,

some unlucky people live in the nation’s most congested cities. To determine the 10 cities with the

worst traffic, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed figures published by INRIX, a

traffic information and services group. The INRIX scorecard assigns an

index score for the 100 largest metropolitan statistical areas, and

individual road segments within those areas. Scores are functions of the

percentage difference between road segments’ uncongested (or “free

flow”) travel time and the calculated travel time on the roads during

peak hours. 24/7 Wall St. also reviewed population density from the 2010

Census, as well as travel time and commuting methods for each metro

area from the Census Bureau’s 2011 American Community Survey. All data

used were the most recent available. These are the 10 cities with the

worst traffic.