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San Francisco Bay Area 5th Worst Traffic Congestion In The World, Study Finds

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – In what may come as no surprise to Bay Area commuters, a global study on traffic congestion has placed the San Francisco area near the top of the list, when it comes to gridlock.

According to the INRIX Global Congestion Ranking, which studied 1,360 cities around the world, San Francisco had the 5th worst traffic congestion in the world and the 3rd worst congestion in the U.S. last year.

Researchers found Bay Area drivers spent more than three days on average, 79 hours, sitting in gridlocked roads in 2017. Traffic congestion cost local drivers $2,250 in wasted time, fuel and higher costs passed on by businesses to consumers.

INRIX found the most congested corridor in the Bay Area is eastbound Highway 24 during the afternoon commute, where drivers wasted 39 hours last year sitting in gridlock.

ALSO READ: Early Rush: Bay Area Traffic Significantly Up During 4 AM Hour

Other congested corridors included 3rd Street in San Francisco between 16th Street and Market during the morning commute and the afternoon commute on eastbound Interstate 80 between Emeryville and Pinole.

Los Angeles topped INRIX's global list for the sixth straight year, as drivers spent 102 hours in gridlock on average. Moscow and New York City tied for second on the list, with drivers in both cities spending 91 hours in gridlock.

Rounding out the top five is Sao Paulo, Brazil, where the average driver was sitting in gridlock for 86 hours.

ALSO READ: MTC Study Shows Spike In Deadly Accidents In Bay Area

The U.S. was ranked as the most congested developed country in the world, with American drivers spending 41 hours a year in traffic during peak hours on average.

"Congestion costs the U.S. hundreds of billions of dollars, and threatens future economic growth and lowers our quality of life," Dr. Graham Cookson, Chief Economist at INRIX said in a statement. "If we're to avoid traffic congestion becoming a further drain on our economy, we must invest in intelligent transportation systems to tackle our mobility challenges."

Tim Fang is a digital producer for CBS San Francisco and a native of the Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter @fangtj.

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