MIAMI (CBSMiami) — If you drive the streets of South Florida, you know how congested it is, and now a new study proves we are on the road to gridlock.
Miami now has the distinction of having one of the most congested highway systems in the nation, according to a global traffic scorecard published annually by Inrix, a company that aggregates and analyzes traffic data collected from vehicles and highway infrastructure.
Angela Hill knows all about it.
“I spend about 4 hours driving my kids to and from school each day,” she said. “It’s a 13 mile trip.”
Nighttime along South Florida’s expressways, interstates and major surface streets can be just as frustrating thanks to construction.
Most of the work is done at night in order to keep the additional traffic at a minimum during peak driving times.
But for those who are on the road after 11 p.m., when most nightly construction begins, it can be frustrating.
“Ah yeah, it is inconvenient at times, you know, you deal with it,” said a local driver named Joey. “At the end of the day we’ll have better roads.”
The Palmetto Expressway, or 826, is often shut down, and late-night detours on the Palmetto and the 836, or Dolphin Expressway, can be frustrating for drivers.
“Extremely frustrating because I work at the airport, so does my husband,” said commuter Ashley Garcia. “I go to pick him up. We come home. We have to go all the way around that way then come all the way back to just get down the block.”
All of this nighttime pain is designed to alleviate the daytime congestion and comes just as Miami has been named the world’s 10th most congested city.
According to Inrix, five of the top 10 most congested cities in the world are located in the U.S.
Los Angeles is the most congested city in the world for the sixth consecutive year. Drivers in LA spent an average of 102 hours last year in traffic jams during peak congestion hours.
New York City is next followed by Moscow, which are tied for the second place spot (91 hours).
San Francisco is the fifth most congested (79 hours).
Atlanta is on the list and so is Miami, which appears in the number 10 spot.
Inrix says of Miami, “Despite being known as a laid-back tourist destination, Miami motorists endure 64 hours of traffic congestion.”
The scorecard is based on an analysis of 1,360 cities. The congestion data provides insight into each city’s unique set of transportation problems and how they might be solved (or made worse) with technology and new forms of transportation such as ride-hailing, car-sharing, and eventually self-driving vehicles.
The top 10 most congested cities in the world are:
- Los Angeles
- New York City (tie)
- Moscow (tie)
- Sao Paulo, Brazil
- San Francisco
Miami-Dade Transportation Director Alice Bravo said the county is already implementing “smart signals” at some traffic lights.
“These are traffic signals that have a series of detectors and basically can help move the traffic better, keep them synchronized so you get more green lights,” she said.
Bravo says the county is working on getting people out of the car and onto the train or bus.
A plan that’s just months away, an express bus on the 836 Expressway.
“This is going to provide express bus service from the Dolphin Park and Ride at 122nd Avenue and Northwest 12th Street on 836 on an uncongested dedicated lane to Downtown Miami,” Bravo said.
That’s part of the Strategic Miami Area Rapid Transit Plan, known as SMART.
It looks at six specific corridors for rapid transit in all directions.
Another part about to go on line from anew downtown station, Brightline train service north, with plans for more trains that will stop in eastern cities of South Florida.
The top 10 most congested cities in the U.S. are:
- Los Angeles
- New York City
- San Francisco
- Washington, D.C.
Overall, the U.S. is in fifth place (and tied with Russia) as the most congested country, with drivers spending 41 peak hours commuting. The most congested country in the world is Thailand, with drivers spending an average of 56 hours in peak-hour congestion.
The top 10 most congested countries are:
- United States (tie)
- Russia (tie)
- Brazil (tie)
- South Africa (tie)
- United Kingdom