SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Traffic congestion across the nation was up 11 percent over the last year, with the Bay Area remaining one of the main culprits.

San Francisco ranks sixth in terms of most congested U.S. cities, that according to the latest National Traffic Scorecard from INRIX, a leading provider of traffic and navigation services.

The report found that the worst time to be driving in the Bay Area is on Thursdays at 5:30 p.m., with an average trip taking 63 percent longer than normal.

KCBS’ Bob Melrose Reports:

But John Goodwin with the Metropolitan Transportation Commission said in some cases, traffic congestion has been a problem for a lot longer period of time.

“Look at Interstate 80, both eastbound and westbound. That has always been a highly congested corridor,” said Goodwin. “Even a slight decline in traffic hasn’t yielded a big improvement in congestion.”

Overall, INRIX found that a slightly improving economy was the main reason behind the increase in congestion nationwide, an issue not lost on some commuters.

“I need my car,” said a commuter, who goes from Oakland to Fremont. “I have all my doctors in Fremont, so it is what it is.”

Los Angeles, New York and Chicago topped the list for most congested U.S. cities.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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