10 Places With the Worst Traffic in North America

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Frustrated driver
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Which place has the worst traffic in North America? Many of us would not hesitate to name our own hometown as the No. 1 offender.

But as bad as traffic is where you live, it’s probably worse somewhere else — unless you live in one of the following places.

Recently, geolocation technology specialist firm TomTom set out to determine which North American cities have the worst traffic.

TomTom’s Traffic Index for 2023 rankings were based on time, cost and CO2 emissions per mile driven. In addition, TomTom simulated how long it takes to complete a six-mile trip within a city for a typical car.

Here are the places with the worst traffic in North America.

1. Toronto

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Location: Province of Ontario, Canada

Average travel time per 10 kilometers (about 6.2 miles): 29 minutes — an increase of 50 seconds from 2022

Estimated population: 2.8 million as of 2021

If you are trying to get somewhere fast, Toronto roads can be a nightmare.

The average driver lost 118 hours sitting in traffic in Toronto during 2022, according to INRIX, which looks at traffic patterns. That made Toronto the seventh-most congested city in the world that year.

2. Mexico City

Mexico City cathedral
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Location: Country of Mexico

Average travel time per 10 kilometers (about 6.2 miles): 26 minutes and 30 seconds — an increase of 50 seconds from 2022

Estimated population: 9.2 million as of 2020

Mexico City’s roads are notoriously narrow and winding. It’s not unusual for a half-dozen streets to come together at a single intersection.

All of that is a recipe for gridlock in one of the most populated cities on the planet.

3. New York City

Luciano Mortula LGM / Shutterstock.com

Location: State of New York, United States

Average travel time per 10 kilometers (about 6.2 miles): 24 minutes and 50 seconds — an increase of 20 seconds from 2022

Estimated population: 8.3 million as of 2022

After a brief respite during the COVID-19 pandemic, New York City’s traffic has become unbearable again. With remote work becoming more popular, traffic issues are spreading out beyond Manhattan and to other boroughs.

All those jam-packed roads are more than just a nuisance: Traffic fatalities in NYC spiked to multi-year highs for pedestrians and cyclists in 2021.

The rest of the 10 worst cities

Vancouver, Canada
Pashu Ta Studio / Shutterstock.com

Here are the rest of the top 10 worst places for traffic in North America, including the average time it takes to travel 6.2 miles:

  • Vancouver: 23 minutes and 10 seconds
  • Washington, D.C.: 21 minutes and 20 seconds
  • San Francisco: 20 minutes and 30 seconds
  • Winnipeg, Canada: 19 minutes and 20 seconds
  • Boston: 19 minutes and 10 seconds
  • Montreal: 19 minutes
  • Chicago: 17 minutes and 50 seconds

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