Jan 18, 2023 - Business

How much time — and money — you lost in traffic last year

Illustration of a traffic light with a green light revealing a steering wheel

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Denver metro drivers spent more than two days in traffic last year.

Driving the news: The city ranked 17th in the country for traffic congestion, down two spots from 2021, according to the 2022 INRIX Global Traffic Scorecard report released this month. The study looked at travel delays, collision trends, downtown trips and speeds in the metro area.

  • Drivers on average lost 54 hours due to congestion in Denver last year — down about 14% compared with pre-pandemic figures.
  • Trips to downtown Denver jumped about 8% from 2021 to 2022, per the congestion scorecard.

Why it matters: Bottlenecks and blockades cost drivers about $912 in lost time.

  • Higher fuel costs meant $134 on average more per driver in 2022 than in 2021.

Zoom out: Time lost to traffic tie-ups in Denver is slightly higher than the national average, as the typical driver in the U.S. lost 51 hours — up 15 hours from 2021.

  • Chicago ranked No. 1 nationally for traffic delays — enough to make it the second-most congested city in the world.
  • Boston (134), New York (117), Philadelphia (114) and Miami (105) rounded out the top five.
  • London had the worst traffic on Earth for the second straight year, with the city's average driver losing 156 hours. Denver ranked 69th on the global rankings.

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