Monday, November 16, 2015

As bad as it gets: the worst freeways in America.
(Photo by Getty
Images/Design by Erik Mace)By: Aaron MillerThis isn"t about how long you sit
in traffic.
That"s just one part of it.
This is about the entire godawful
experience that is commuting on the US interstate system, day in and day out,
navigating around terrifying Final Destination-esque scenarios, jostled by
relentless potholes that the bottleneck-inducing, 365-days-a-year construction
never seems to fix.
Beware! (Photo:"Atwater Village Newbie/Flickr)Here are the absolute worst
freeways in America, as determined by a metric of suck that we"re calling the
Total Horribleness Index.
Basically, we combed through a ton of data from the
Federal Highway Administration to find out just how awful a city"s traffic
really is.
It"s based on three main factors:
1) The amount of time you"re
needlessly wasting in traffic
2) The road roughness that beats the crap out
of you and your car
3) The chances that you"ll, you know, dieYou can check
our math at the bottom, after you relish in the soul-crushing, rage-inducing
cauldron that is the American interstate system.
Here"s looking at you,
Eisenhower.Related:"Gridlock Alert! Waze Reveals U.S.
Cities With the Worst
Traffic Backed up on I-95.
(Photo:"Jef Nickerson/Flickr)12.
I-95 and
I-195
Providence, RITotal Horribleness Rating: 0.2700Worst aspect: While the
road conditions are better than average, you"ve got a pretty decent chance of
dying on a Rhode Island interstate.
But the real problem is the wildly
inconsistent traffic patterns: every morning you"ve gotta get up 30 minutes
early just to go sit in traffic… except on the days when, inexplicably,
there is none, and you could"ve pressed that blessed snooze button a few more
times.What people are saying: "The state depletes their budget every year [to
maintain the highway].
Just this year, they didn"t get a real snow fall until
mid-January.
The state basically blows their whole load before the show is
over." —Reddit user Borsaid There"s a reason why this expressway has
"kill" in the name.
(Photo:"Camera_Obscura [busy]/Flickr)11.
I-76/Schuylkill
Expressway
Philadelphia, Pa.Total Horribleness Rating: 0.2726Worst aspect:
The insane duration of bottlenecks.
Six hours out of every day are filled with
crawling, mind-numbing traffic.What people are saying: "It"s hard to feel bad
for people who live on the [uber-wealthy] Main Line, except when you remember
their punishment is I-76.
The narrow highway that eschews expansion because of
unfortunate geography is their only way into the city to experience cool stuff
(errr… culture).
It doesn"t matter if the Eagles win or lose, or even
if the Eagles have an away game, the highway no one can pronounce (Schuyllkill
Expressway) is permanently ground to a halt.
There"s no need to listen to
‘Traffic and Transit on the Twos," because the same delays play
tragically on repeat, kind of like anything by Philadelphia"s own, Pink."
—Laura Hayes This puts the pitts in Pittsburgh: I-376.
(Photo:"David
Fulmer/Flickr)10.
I-376/Parkway East & West
Pittsburgh, Pa.Total
Horribleness Rating: 0.2992Worst aspect: Calling the Parkway a parking lot
isn"t even a joke.
When you take into account how slow the traffic can be and
how much it fluctuates, Pittsburgh clocks in at fifth worst in the
country.
And then there"s this: the Greenfield Bridge has been crumbling for
decades, falling onto the Parkway.
The solution was to build another bridge
— underneath it — purely to catch the debris.
If you believe in
Christmas miracles, it"s scheduled for implosion starting December 26th,
2015.What people are saying: "If you remember the bad resurfacing they did
several years ago, […] there were a ton of accidents and I kept on
calling WPXI […] and saying 'you have to ask if there is oil
coming onto the road surface." So finally they did ask, and we were told, no,
it was not oil on the surface.
Well it turns out it was a bad batch and indeed
it was leaking oil onto the surface and they had to resurface the whole
highway.
I mean, when it was the bad batch, every time it rained there was
accident after accident […] at one point at a four car accident, a
state police officer gave me a pen and asked me to take the info because he
had too many accidents to attend to." —Reddit user raviaRelated:"WATCH:
Get Caught in an Elephant Traffic Jam Why does California have so many awful
highways? (Photo:"Brisan/Flickr)9.
I-880
San Jose, Calif.Total Horribleness
Rating: 0.3373Worst aspect: Rough roads and… weirdness (see below) are
both stressful, and in SJ, you never really know what to expect — the
traffic fluctuation here is the second worst in the entire country.What people
are saying: "I saw a big rig truck on the side of I-880 carrying a MISSILE
launcher on its flat bed… with white smoke coming out of the
back.
Unfortunately, I didn"t have enough time to take a picture as we drove
by it too quickly, and I was in a bit of a 'What the hell is that a
missile launcher on the back of a truck with smoke coming out of its wheels?"
shock.
It was pulled over on the right hand side of the road." —Reddit
user AndyLCIf presumably powerful and horrifyingly smoking weapons on the side
of the road don"t spook you, there"s also"this taser-impervious menace
sprinting through traffic and clocking cops.
Is this San Francisco or Bombay? (Photo:"Michael Patrick/Flickr)8.
I-80
San
Francisco, Calif.Total Horribleness Rating: 0.3739Worst aspect: It"s an
all-around mess in San Fran, with inconsistent traffic on interstates that
suck time out of your day, beat you up with bumps, and potentially kill
you.What people are saying: "Driving on the I-80 over the Bay Bridge into San
Francisco any time between the hours of 6 a.m.
and 8 p.m.
is like willingly
entering a particularly cruel insane asylum.
Right before Toll Plaza, where 80
and Eisenhower and Grand converge, cars lose all sense of purpose and rules
and it suddenly becomes Bombay, with cars darting across four lanes sideways,
lanes suddenly closed with no explanations during rush hour, potholes popping
up everywhere seemingly created by collective sadness.
The one positive
purpose it seems to serve is to maybe convince people that living in the Bay
Area might not actually be worth it." —Kevin Alexander Avoid these
Austin city limits.
(Photo:"Steve/Flickr)7.
I-35
Austin, Tex.Total
Horribleness Rating: 0.3964Worst aspect: All you need to know about the
horrors of I-35 as it goes through Austin is this: it"s so bad that America"s
fastest highway — the SH 130 toll road, with speed limits up to 85 mph
— was built purely so people could fly past Austin"s traffic nightmare
as quickly as possible.What people are saying: "Heading south into Downtown
Austin, the 200 yards before the split between the lower and upper deck, is
one of the single worst places in the state of Texas.
You will invariably
become stuck between two semis, an oversized pick-up truck, and a Corolla that
is defying science by continuing to run, even though its oil hasn"t been
changed since the Bush administration.
You will invariably fail to Frogger
your way out of the upper-deck lanes, which are the equivalent of entering a
20-minute holding cell, where you"ll have ample opportunity to ponder just how
weird Chick-fil-A"s advertising campaign is and how much longer its creative
team will be able to milk those two cows for new concepts." —Dan
GentileRelated:"15 American Bridges Worthy of Your Driving Bucket List Get
ready to wait in Dallas.
(Photo:"Whatknot/Flickr)6.
I-635/LBJ
Dallas, TXTotal
Horribleness Rating: 0.4359Worst aspect: Fort Worth has traffic issues that
will make grown men cry, but between the LBJ, Stemmons, and Central
Expressway,"Dallas is losing nearly $1 billion a year just from people sitting
around doing nothing.What people are saying: "I"ve been rear-ended on Central
while doing 85 mph.
I"ve been very nearly rear-ended at 65mph on Stemmons at 3
a.m..
Anyone that"s driven either of those two shouldn"t be surprised by those
statements.
And LBJ spent so many decades as"the bane of every Dallasite"s
existence"that the city hired a Spanish company to build a fancy multi-level
system just so people could pay nearly five bucks each way, every day, to be
spared the PTSD-invoking sight of the horrible traffic on the surface."
—Aaron Miller The snow will get you in Denver.
(Photo:"Jeffrey Beall
/Flickr)5.
I-70
Denver, Colo.Total Horribleness Rating: 0.4677Worst aspect:
The complete and utter randomness of winter traffic makes planning
impossible.What people are saying: "I-70; fresh pow is coming down in Vail,
you packed up your gear, and you leave at 5am to go skiing.
Instead, you sit
for four hours in your Subaru because the goddamn Eisenhower Tunnel is closed
due to an accident and isn"t opening anytime soon.
One time I sat for three
hours waiting for the tunnel to open in the spring.
Generally, things tend to
be fine in the warmer months, but in the winter, it"s anyone"s guess.
Don"t
even try driving it on a Sunday afternoon in ski season, unless you want to
pee into Gatorade bottles on the way home when you"re trapped on the highway."
—Lee Breslouer This is where the phrase "Carmageddon" was
invented.
(Photo:"Christopher Lance/Flickr)4.
The 405
Los Angeles,
Cailf.Total Horribleness Rating: 0.4712Worst aspect: I-5, I-10, I-105, I-110,
I-210, I-405, I-605, I-710.
Take your pick.
They all suck, resulting in nearly
8.5 hours of traffic every single day that fluctuates more than any other city
in the States.
ETAs in L.A.
are basically a crapshoot.What people are saying:
"You know when people say they could never live in LA because of the traffic?
Chances are they"re talking about the 405 — the freeway literally
responsible for the term 'Carmageddon." Sure, that 'disaster"
— which happened when the freeway had to close to add lanes —
wasn"t as bad as anyone predicted, but that"s more due to media coverage than
the shutdown itself.
Since the freeway connects North and South LA and the
city and the Valley, it"s often responsible for traffic jams… at 2
a.m.
Seriously.
Bad news." —Jeff MillerRelated:"The Absolute Worst
Tourist Spots for Driving This loop will throw you for a
loop.
(Photo:"Pinke/Flickr)3.
The 610 Loop
Houston, Tex.Total Horribleness
Rating: 0.5129Worst aspect: Nearly 1.2 million man-hours are lost to this
Bermuda Triangle of traffic every year.
The total cost of time wasted on this
stretch alone is estimated at nearly $100,000,000.
Ouch.What people are
saying: "She was sitting in her red Mini Cooper, part of the rest of the
traffic stuck on 610, the West Loop between I-10 and Westheimer.
No one likes
that southbound trek, especially during morning rush hour.
Should I exit Post
Oak and then get back on to 610 immediately? What idiot engineer designed this
BS? I digress.
The woman was about 50, frosted hair wildly blowing in her
car"s A/C, and she was completely stopped.
Was something wrong? Did her Mini
break down? I noticed she was holding her iPhone up in front of her face
— it was hard to miss with its Hello Kitty case.
She also had
headphones in.
I wondered if she"d hear me honk.
I gave a short, courtesy toot
and she melted down.
Yeah, she can hear me.
Still stationary on 610, with five
or more car lengths ahead of her, she raised her phone in anger and waved it
at me, as if to say, 'Eff you, I"m on the phone here!" " —Reddit
user Maybe_Wil_Wheaton This is no Big Easy.
(Photo:"Bart
Everson/Flickr)2.
I-10
New Orleans, LATotal Horribleness Rating: 0.8094Worst
aspect: The roads are among the roughest in the nation, the delays are
infamous, and the only place where you"re more likely to die on an interstate
is in Alaska.What people are saying: "I have lost track of how many times I
have left my house to run an errand, end up sitting in gridlock for 30 mins
and then eventually turning around to go home.
This is ridiculous, it"s
getting to the point where if I can"t walk to it, I just don"t go."
—Reddit user partelo You won"t get your kicks on
I-66.
(Photo:"American Sherpa/Flickr)1.
I-66
Washington, D.C.Total
Horribleness Rating: 1.2649Worst aspect: The roads are far and away the
roughest interstate patches in the US — the only system remotely close
is Hawaii, which should get some slack considering the whole state is one big
active volcano system.
What they"re saying about it: "On I-66, there is always
traffic.
I"ve been on 66 at 10pm and there is still traffic.
I try to avoid it
at all costs." —An irate I-66 driver who wished to remain
anonymousThere"s actually a"parody Twitter account"just for I-66, and as
the"Washington Post points out, there are more than 100 license plates
registered with some variant of "I66SUX." When pushed for an opinion, people
often get very emotional: "Eff the 66.
Eff it with the fire of a thousand
suns.
No amount of money is worth it." —Reddit user GetToTheChoppah
The stats don"t lie.
(Illustration: Aaron Miller/Thrillist)About the dataThe
majority of the data used comes from the US government.
The Federal Highway
Administration (FHWA) compiles an annual database stuffed with more statistics
than a baseball archive.
Planning Time Index (PTI): This accounts for
fluctuations in traffic.
The higher the number, the less certain you are on
any given day whether you"re going to be stuck all morning bumper-to-bumper,
or show up stupid-early to work.Travel Time Index (TTI): How slow traffic
gets.
The higher the number, the slower the traffic tends to get, compared to
when the road is clear.Daily Congested Hours: The total number of hours, per
day, that traffic is significantly slowedThrillist Congestion Index (TCI): To
figure out the total congestion index, we divided the total hours of daily
congestion by the TTI, then multiplied that figure by the PTI, to give a true
indication of how much time the traffic really does kill out of an average
day.Roughness (not shown): The"International Roughness Index"(yes, this
actually exists) looks at road roughness by daily miles traveled.
We weighted
roads by how many miles they"re driven each day, to account for real-world
misery.Death Rate (not shown): We then took the number of miles and multiplied
them by 1/365th of"the total number of annual fatalities"for each area, to
find how many people die each day for every mile.
Hint: it"s a decimal with a
lot of zeroes after it.Total Horribleness Rating: TCI x the weighted roughness
x the deaths per mile = the worst part of your day, probably.WATCH:
Anticarjacking Class? Sign Us Up! We Attend the Ultimate Driving School

More from Thrillist:The Most Scenic Drive in All 50 States15 American
Bridges You Must Drive Over Before You DieThe 20 Major US Cities With the
Worst Drivers
This is about the entire godawful experience that is commuting on the US
interstate system, day in and day out, navigating around terrifying Final
Destination-esque scenarios, jostled by relentless potholes that the
bottleneck-inducing, 365-days-a-year construction never seems to
fix.
Basically, we combed through a ton of data from the Federal Highway
Administration to find out just how awful a city's traffic really is.
It's
based on three main factors: 1) The amount of time you're needlessly wasting
in traffic 2) The road roughness that beats the crap out of you and your car
3) The chances that you'll, you know, die You can check our math at the
bottom, after you relish in the soul-crushing, rage-inducing cauldron that is
the American interstate system..12.
I-95 and I-195
Providence, RITotal
Horribleness Rating: 0.2700Worst aspect: While the road conditions are better
than average, you"ve got a pretty decent chance of dying on a Rhode Island
interstate.
But the real problem is the wildly inconsistent traffic patterns:
every morning you"ve gotta get up 30 minutes early just to go sit in
traffic… except on the days when, inexplicably, there is none, and you
could"ve pressed that blessed snooze button a few more times.What people are
saying: "The state depletes their budget every year [to maintain the
highway].
Just this year, they didn"t get a real snow fall until
mid-January.
The state basically blows their whole load before the show is
over." —Reddit user Borsaid There"s a reason why this expressway has
"kill" in the name.
(Photo:"Camera_Obscura [busy]/Flickr)11.
I-76/Schuylkill
Expressway
Philadelphia, Pa.Total Horribleness Rating: 0.2726Worst aspect:
The insane duration of bottlenecks.
Six hours out of every day are filled with
crawling, mind-numbing traffic.What people are saying: "It"s hard to feel bad
for people who live on the [uber-wealthy] Main Line, except when you remember
their punishment is I-76.
The narrow highway that eschews expansion because of
unfortunate geography is their only way into the city to experience cool stuff
(errr… culture).
It doesn"t matter if the Eagles win or lose, or even
if the Eagles have an away game, the highway no one can pronounce (Schuyllkill
Expressway) is permanently ground to a halt.
There"s no need to listen to
‘Traffic and Transit on the Twos," because the same delays play
tragically on repeat, kind of like anything by Philadelphia"s own, Pink."
—Laura Hayes This puts the pitts in Pittsburgh: I-376.
(Photo:"David
Fulmer/Flickr)10.
I-376/Parkway East & West
Pittsburgh, Pa.Total
Horribleness Rating: 0.2992Worst aspect: Calling the Parkway a parking lot
isn"t even a joke.
When you take into account how slow the traffic can be and
how much it fluctuates, Pittsburgh clocks in at fifth worst in the
country.
And then there"s this: the Greenfield Bridge has been crumbling for
decades, falling onto the Parkway.
The solution was to build another bridge
— underneath it — purely to catch the debris.
If you believe in
Christmas miracles, it"s scheduled for implosion starting December 26th,
2015.What people are saying: "If you remember the bad resurfacing they did
several years ago, […] there were a ton of accidents and I kept on
calling WPXI […] and saying 'you have to ask if there is oil
coming onto the road surface." So finally they did ask, and we were told, no,
it was not oil on the surface.
Well it turns out it was a bad batch and indeed
it was leaking oil onto the surface and they had to resurface the whole
highway.
I mean, when it was the bad batch, every time it rained there was
accident after accident […] at one point at a four car accident, a
state police officer gave me a pen and asked me to take the info because he
had too many accidents to attend to." —Reddit user raviaRelated:"WATCH:
Get Caught in an Elephant Traffic Jam Why does California have so many awful
highways? (Photo:"Brisan/Flickr)9.
I-880
San Jose, Calif.Total Horribleness
Rating: 0.3373Worst aspect: Rough roads and… weirdness (see below) are
both stressful, and in SJ, you never really know what to expect — the
traffic fluctuation here is the second worst in the entire country.What people
are saying: "I saw a big rig truck on the side of I-880 carrying a MISSILE
launcher on its flat bed… with white smoke coming out of the
back.
Unfortunately, I didn"t have enough time to take a picture as we drove
by it too quickly, and I was in a bit of a 'What the hell is that a
missile launcher on the back of a truck with smoke coming out of its wheels?"
shock.
It was pulled over on the right hand side of the road." —Reddit
user AndyLCIf presumably powerful and horrifyingly smoking weapons on the side
of the road don"t spook you, there"s also"this taser-impervious menace
sprinting through traffic and clocking cops.
Is this San Francisco or Bombay? (Photo:"Michael Patrick/Flickr)8.
I-80
San
Francisco, Calif.Total Horribleness Rating: 0.3739Worst aspect: It"s an
all-around mess in San Fran, with inconsistent traffic on interstates that
suck time out of your day, beat you up with bumps, and potentially kill
you.What people are saying: "Driving on the I-80 over the Bay Bridge into San
Francisco any time between the hours of 6 a.m.
and 8 p.m.
is like willingly
entering a particularly cruel insane asylum.
Right before Toll Plaza, where 80
and Eisenhower and Grand converge, cars lose all sense of purpose and rules
and it suddenly becomes Bombay, with cars darting across four lanes sideways,
lanes suddenly closed with no explanations during rush hour, potholes popping
up everywhere seemingly created by collective sadness.
The one positive
purpose it seems to serve is to maybe convince people that living in the Bay
Area might not actually be worth it." —Kevin Alexander Avoid these
Austin city limits.
(Photo:"Steve/Flickr)7.
I-35
Austin, Tex.Total
Horribleness Rating: 0.3964Worst aspect: All you need to know about the
horrors of I-35 as it goes through Austin is this: it"s so bad that America"s
fastest highway — the SH 130 toll road, with speed limits up to 85 mph
— was built purely so people could fly past Austin"s traffic nightmare
as quickly as possible.What people are saying: "Heading south into Downtown
Austin, the 200 yards before the split between the lower and upper deck, is
one of the single worst places in the state of Texas.
You will invariably
become stuck between two semis, an oversized pick-up truck, and a Corolla that
is defying science by continuing to run, even though its oil hasn"t been
changed since the Bush administration.
You will invariably fail to Frogger
your way out of the upper-deck lanes, which are the equivalent of entering a
20-minute holding cell, where you"ll have ample opportunity to ponder just how
weird Chick-fil-A"s advertising campaign is and how much longer its creative
team will be able to milk those two cows for new concepts." —Dan
GentileRelated:"15 American Bridges Worthy of Your Driving Bucket List Get
ready to wait in Dallas.
(Photo:"Whatknot/Flickr)6.
I-635/LBJ
Dallas, TXTotal
Horribleness Rating: 0.4359Worst aspect: Fort Worth has traffic issues that
will make grown men cry, but between the LBJ, Stemmons, and Central
Expressway,"Dallas is losing nearly $1 billion a year just from people sitting
around doing nothing.What people are saying: "I"ve been rear-ended on Central
while doing 85 mph.
I"ve been very nearly rear-ended at 65mph on Stemmons at 3
a.m..
Anyone that"s driven either of those two shouldn"t be surprised by those
statements.
And LBJ spent so many decades as"the bane of every Dallasite"s
existence"that the city hired a Spanish company to build a fancy multi-level
system just so people could pay nearly five bucks each way, every day, to be
spared the PTSD-invoking sight of the horrible traffic on the surface."
—Aaron Miller The snow will get you in Denver.
(Photo:"Jeffrey Beall
/Flickr)5.
I-70
Denver, Colo.Total Horribleness Rating: 0.4677Worst aspect:
The complete and utter randomness of winter traffic makes planning
impossible.What people are saying: "I-70; fresh pow is coming down in Vail,
you packed up your gear, and you leave at 5am to go skiing.
Instead, you sit
for four hours in your Subaru because the goddamn Eisenhower Tunnel is closed
due to an accident and isn"t opening anytime soon.
One time I sat for three
hours waiting for the tunnel to open in the spring.
Generally, things tend to
be fine in the warmer months, but in the winter, it"s anyone"s guess.
Don"t
even try driving it on a Sunday afternoon in ski season, unless you want to
pee into Gatorade bottles on the way home when you"re trapped on the highway."
—Lee Breslouer This is where the phrase "Carmageddon" was
invented.
(Photo:"Christopher Lance/Flickr)4.
The 405
Los Angeles,
Cailf.Total Horribleness Rating: 0.4712Worst aspect: I-5, I-10, I-105, I-110,
I-210, I-405, I-605, I-710.
Take your pick.
They all suck, resulting in nearly
8.5 hours of traffic every single day that fluctuates more than any other city
in the States.
ETAs in L.A.
are basically a crapshoot.What people are saying:
"You know when people say they could never live in LA because of the traffic?
Chances are they"re talking about the 405 — the freeway literally
responsible for the term 'Carmageddon." Sure, that 'disaster"
— which happened when the freeway had to close to add lanes —
wasn"t as bad as anyone predicted, but that"s more due to media coverage than
the shutdown itself.
Since the freeway connects North and South LA and the
city and the Valley, it"s often responsible for traffic jams… at 2
a.m.
Seriously.
Bad news." —Jeff MillerRelated:"The Absolute Worst
Tourist Spots for Driving This loop will throw you for a
loop.
(Photo:"Pinke/Flickr)3.
The 610 Loop
Houston, Tex.Total Horribleness
Rating: 0.5129Worst aspect: Nearly 1.2 million man-hours are lost to this
Bermuda Triangle of traffic every year.
The total cost of time wasted on this
stretch alone is estimated at nearly $100,000,000.
Ouch.What people are
saying: "She was sitting in her red Mini Cooper, part of the rest of the
traffic stuck on 610, the West Loop between I-10 and Westheimer.
No one likes
that southbound trek, especially during morning rush hour.
Should I exit Post
Oak and then get back on to 610 immediately? What idiot engineer designed this
BS? I digress.
The woman was about 50, frosted hair wildly blowing in her
car"s A/C, and she was completely stopped.
Was something wrong? Did her Mini
break down? I noticed she was holding her iPhone up in front of her face
— it was hard to miss with its Hello Kitty case.
She also had
headphones in.
I wondered if she"d hear me honk.
I gave a short, courtesy toot
and she melted down.
Yeah, she can hear me.
Still stationary on 610, with five
or more car lengths ahead of her, she raised her phone in anger and waved it
at me, as if to say, 'Eff you, I"m on the phone here!" " —Reddit
user Maybe_Wil_Wheaton This is no Big Easy.
(Photo:"Bart
Everson/Flickr)2.
I-10
New Orleans, LATotal Horribleness Rating: 0.8094Worst
aspect: The roads are among the roughest in the nation, the delays are
infamous, and the only place where you"re more likely to die on an interstate
is in Alaska.What people are saying: "I have lost track of how many times I
have left my house to run an errand, end up sitting in gridlock for 30 mins
and then eventually turning around to go home.
This is ridiculous, it"s
getting to the point where if I can"t walk to it, I just don"t go."
—Reddit user partelo You won"t get your kicks on
I-66.
(Photo:"American Sherpa/Flickr)1.
I-66
Washington, D.C.Total
Horribleness Rating: 1.2649Worst aspect: The roads are far and away the
roughest interstate patches in the US — the only system remotely close
is Hawaii, which should get some slack considering the whole state is one big
active volcano system.
What they"re saying about it: "On I-66, there is always
traffic.
I"ve been on 66 at 10pm and there is still traffic.
I try to avoid it
at all costs." —An irate I-66 driver who wished to remain
anonymousThere"s actually a"parody Twitter account"just for I-66, and as
the"Washington Post points out, there are more than 100 license plates
registered with some variant of "I66SUX." When pushed for an opinion, people
often get very emotional: "Eff the 66.
Eff it with the fire of a thousand
suns.
No amount of money is worth it." —Reddit user GetToTheChoppah
The stats don"t lie.
(Illustration: Aaron Miller/Thrillist)About the dataThe
majority of the data used comes from the US government.
The Federal Highway
Administration (FHWA) compiles an annual database stuffed with more statistics
than a baseball archive.
Planning Time Index (PTI): This accounts for
fluctuations in traffic.
The higher the number, the less certain you are on
any given day whether you"re going to be stuck all morning bumper-to-bumper,
or show up stupid-early to work.Travel Time Index (TTI): How slow traffic
gets.
The higher the number, the slower the traffic tends to get, compared to
when the road is clear.Daily Congested Hours: The total number of hours, per
day, that traffic is significantly slowedThrillist Congestion Index (TCI): To
figure out the total congestion index, we divided the total hours of daily
congestion by the TTI, then multiplied that figure by the PTI, to give a true
indication of how much time the traffic really does kill out of an average
day.Roughness (not shown): The"International Roughness Index"(yes, this
actually exists) looks at road roughness by daily miles traveled.
We weighted
roads by how many miles they"re driven each day, to account for real-world
misery.Death Rate (not shown): We then took the number of miles and multiplied
them by 1/365th of"the total number of annual fatalities"for each area, to
find how many people die each day for every mile.
Hint: it"s a decimal with a
lot of zeroes after it.Total Horribleness Rating: TCI x the weighted roughness
x the deaths per mile = the worst part of your day, probably.WATCH:
Anticarjacking Class? Sign Us Up! We Attend the Ultimate Driving School

More from Thrillist:The Most Scenic Drive in All 50 States15 American
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Worst Drivers
This is about the entire godawful experience that is commuting
on the US interstate system, day in and day out, navigating around terrifying
Final Destination-esque scenarios, jostled by relentless potholes that the
bottleneck-inducing, 365-days-a-year construction never seems to
fix.
Basically, we combed through a ton of data from the Federal Highway
Administration to find out just how awful a city's traffic really is.
It's
based on three main factors: 1) The amount of time you're needlessly wasting
in traffic 2) The road roughness that beats the crap out of you and your car
3) The chances that you'll, you know, die You can check our math at the
bottom, after you relish in the soul-crushing, rage-inducing cauldron that is
the American interstate system.

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