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Report: New York Is The 2nd Most Congested City In The U.S.

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- If you drive in New York City you know how congested it is, and now a new study proves we're on the road to gridlock.

The Big Apple now has the distinction of having the most congested highway in the nation. Reporter John Metaxas decided to see for himself on Tuesday, so he inside one of CBS 2's Mobile 2 units and made for what is now the most dreaded highway in America.

They are two words that evoke a visceral reaction – "Cross Bronx."

Drivers around the Tri-State Area have long known the pitfalls of being stuck in traffic on this urban nightmare of a road.

"I don't know. I don't know. It just seems like it's endless," Dan Cinquemani said.

One man tells 1010 WINS' John Montone that driving on the Cross Bronx Expressway is painful


An average speed of 11.3 mph was registered on the highway during heavy traffic.

"It grows from about 3 o'clock in the afternoon on to the point where it becomes standstill a lot of times," a teacher told 1010 WINS' Montone.

"It's slow, it's painful, you just can't get anywhere," a driver said.

"I've been travelling this road for like 20 years and it's been this problem. Saturdays are like this. Sundays are like this. It's horrible," said Franca Emodi of Bayside, Queens.

But now it's official. The latest national traffic scorecard from the data firm INRIX has labeled the Cross Bronx Expressway the most congested highway in the nation.

At peak times it can take you more than an hour to travel the 11 miles from the Bruckner Expressway to New Jersey across the George Washington Bridge.

But more than that, the survey says New York City itself could soon have the worst traffic in the country.

"According to this report, we are just behind Los Angeles and on our way to becoming above Los Angeles," said Erich Arcement of the firm Sam Schwartz Engineering.

That came as no surprise to those who are familiar with the second most congested road in New York -- that "parking lot" known as the Long Island Expressway.

"I've lived in Los Angeles. Yeah, it's practically as bad. The LIE is horrible," Flushing resident Jamal Irizarry said.

And it's not just commuters who feel the pain. Say you're heading to the airport. You've got a flight out of John F. Kennedy. Well, you're not getting there any time soon on this road. Welcome to the Van Wyck Expressway.

In traffic on the Van Wyck, the six-mile stretch to JFK can easily take more than half an hour.

The Brooklyn-Queens Expressway and the Major Deegan are two other area roads cited for their congestion. But it's the Cross Bronx that holds a special place for New Yorkers.

It's never been popular ever since power broker Robert Moses gutted several Bronx neighborhoods to build it in the late 1940s and '50s.

On Tuesday we got confirmation of what we already intuitively knew about it.

INRIX, which gathers traffic information using data from vehicles equipped with GPS devices, found that despite only modest employment gains last year, drivers are experiencing a 10 percent increase in travel times on average.

It says things will get worse when the millions of jobs lost during the recession return to the nation's cities, with a drop in the unemployment rate to 7 percent equating to 9 million more daily work trips.

In general, the afternoon rush hour is worse than the morning commute across the country.

The report also found that Friday, between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m., is the most congested hour of the week.

Most Congested Cities:

1. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana

2. N.Y.-Long Island-N.J.-Pa.

3. Chicago-Naperville-Joliet

4. D.C.-Md.-Northern Va.

5. Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington

6. San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont

7. Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown

8. Boston-Cambridge-Quincy-N.H.

9. Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington

10. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue

Do you agree with the study? Have you seen the traffic get worse over the last year? Where do you think traffic is the worst in the Tri-State area? Why do you think traffic has grown? Let us know below!

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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