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Bay Area traffic rises with the economy


The Bay Area has two of the top ten most congested cities in the country. No other state, let alone region, can claim that title. While San Francisco has always been a top contender for the worst traffic, San Jose jumped up in the list this year.

In 2010, it didn’t even make the top ten. Now, San Jose commuters can expect to waste 33 hours per year sitting in traffic, while San Francisco drivers waste an extra 50 hours each year in their cars.

Traffic congestion in San Francisco and the East Bay increased almost 23 percent since last year. Inrix, a company that tracks traffic data, placed the greater San Francisco area as the third most congested city in the country, after Los Angeles and Honolulu. The study named San Jose the seventh most congested city in the country.

But there’s actually a bright side to this commuter’s nightmare. The reason for the big increase, Inrix said in a press release, is that the economy is picking up. More people going to their jobs means more traffic. In places where the economy is still lagging, like the South, traffic congestion has significantly decreased over the last year.

Overall, the traffic congestion in the United States grew over nine percent – a sign that the national economy is getting stronger.