Special Report

Cities With the Absolute Worst Traffic in the World

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25. Medellin, Colombia

Traffic in Medellin is so bad, it takes six minutes to drive a mile — that’s an average speed of 10 mph. Locals who drive waste about 138 hours a year sitting in traffic. The city’s smog problem has become a serious concern. Air pollutants don’t have a way of leaving the city because of its geography — Medellin is located in a valley with mountains surrounding it.

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24. Brisbane, Australia

The traffic congestion rank of the capital of the Australian state of Queensland has fallen since 2017, when the city ranked 26th worst. The fastest speed residents can drive in the inner city is about 11 mph.

Source: Christopher & Amy Esposito / Wikimedia Commons

23. Chicago, Illinois

Congested roads, streets, and highways trap Chicago commuters for about 138 hours out of the year in their barely moving cars. A 2016 study by the American Highway Users Alliance found a stretch of the Kennedy Expressway to be the worst bottleneck in the U.S.

Source: kasto80 / Getty Images

22. Madrid, Spain

Residents of the Spanish capital take about seven minutes to drive a single mile during peak hours. With residents losing about 130 hours in traffic, local officials demanded and advocated for policies that favor public transport, cycling, and walking. A ban on polluting cars has reduced traffic by a third in some of Madrid’s areas.

Source: AlbertoLoyo / Getty Images

21. Guayaquil, Ecuador

Ecuador’s most populous city has a serious problem with traffic. Residents waste as many as 167 hours a year just sitting in traffic. Numbeo, a crowd-sourced global database, estimates that almost 60 trees are needed to neutralize the amount of cardio dioxide produced by each car passenger a year.

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