Traffic moves slowly on I-4 East in Four Corners, Florida. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Going into the holidays we definitely saw an uptick in traffic in Fort Myers. Now that it’s spring things are much worse. I knew things have been getting increasingly worse traffic-wise over the years but I didn’t think this. According to a traffic congestion ranking index, the Fort Myers-Cape Coral metro area is now seen as the 13th worse in the country for traffic congestion. Heading to the other coast for spring break? Miami is much worse. So how is this ranking done?

According to TomTom “We calculate the baseline per city by analyzing free-flow travel times of all vehicles on the entire road network – recorded 24/7, 365 days a year. This information allows us to also calculate, for example, how much extra time a driver will spend in traffic during rush hour.”

So the devices in our cars know whether we’re moving or stopped in traffic. The data is then compiled to determine in which cities you’re most likely to be stuck and not moving on the roads. From this, they determine a ‘congestion level’ which is a percentage. From there a formula is used to determine how much time the average commuter loses each year sitting in traffic. It’s data like this that shows why living close to where you work and shop is ideal. So how much time do you lose each year sitting in traffic? It’s not hours. It’s days.

  • 1. New York

    New York has a congestion level of 35%. An typical driver in New York loses an average of 80 hours per year sitting in traffic. And while you’re sitting there, you up your chances to get carjacked.

  • 2. Los Angeles

    33% congestion level. That breaks down to 75 hours a year lost. The traffic jams there can be so bad that even the police can’t get through to deal with crimes. That’s why LAPD is always using helicopters.

  • 3. Miami

    Remember the lyric “Two miles an hour so everybody sees you.” Yeah, it’s about Miami. A congestion level of 28% means 64 hours a year sitting in traffic. At least if you’re stopped in traffic, they’ll be less damage when someone hits you. 

  • 4. Baton Rouge

    27% congestion level costs 62 hours per year. Some good news, though, they plan to keep all lanes of I-10 open when they widen it.

  • 5. San Francisco

    They have a congestion level of 26% which means 59 hours each year sitting in traffic. Keep the windows up, the smell seeps in when you’re stopped.  But check out this cool little device they use to help.

  • 6. Chicago

    A 24% congestion level means 55 hours a year lost to traffic. And it’s cold there. Hope you got heated seats. Plus they have snowplow fires.

  • 7. Honolulu

    Bet you didn’t know that traffic on the island is pretty bad. A 23% congestion level is 52 hours a year not being at a luau. I’ve never heard go things about Hawaii traffic.

  • 8. Seattle

    Grab a Starbucks. Your congestion level is also 23% for 52 hours a year staring at tail lights. Did you get one of those Starbucks Stanley Tumblers? People were ready to fight over those.

  • 9. Riverside

    Same. 23% for 52 hours. At least the weather is probably nice. Open the sunroof, enjoy your day. But keep your Twitter alerts on.

  • 10. Philadelphia

    At least you can sit in your car listening to sports guys talk about the Eagles. 22% congestion level for 50 hours a year. Gone. Maybe we can get the fans to stop tearing down the signals.


  • 11. Atlanta

    How is this not worse? Driving I75 through Atlanta is one of the more punishing journeys you can make. Atlanta has a 21% congestion level. 48 hours a year stuck in traffic.

  • 12. Tampa

    You knew we’d get to this one. Tampa also has a 21% congestion level costing the average commuter 48 hours a year. Waiting. Except for the people drag racing over the bridges.

  • 13. Cape Coral-Fort Myers

    That’s right, we’re tied with Tampa. A 21% congestion level. 48 hours – 2 full days each year – wasted, sitting in traffic. Especially on 41. And it’s not just the cars.


  • If you’re interested in the full study, here’s the pdf:


    This is why I insisted on living close to work. I pick my ‘drive to work song’ and I’m usually pulling up as the song is finishing. Today was some classic Run The Jewels from about 5 years back.


  • What about Work From Home?

    Obviously that’s the best way to save yourself two full days each year. And since people keep moving here to SWFL (even with the hurricanes), I’m expecting traffic to get even worse.

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