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Study: Atlanta traffic is horrific on a global scale

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Scorecard pegs ATL as 9th most congested major city on the planet

Traffic on the downtown Atlanta Connector at might.
Ugh ...

In the last couple of years, you’ve probably heard plenty of talk about capping highways that course through Atlanta from Buckhead, to downtown, and even Grant Park. Doing so, in a sense, would be like glopping makeup on the city’s most glaring blemish: traffic.

A new worldwide study—the largest of its kind, per the analysts—suggests that Atlanta’s famously insufferable congestion might be even worse than we thought, relatively speaking.

INRIX, the world leader in transportation analytics and connected car services, released its 2016 Traffic Scorecard today, which pegs Atlanta as having not only the fourth crappiest traffic in the United States—but ninth worst in the world. Which would help explain those Saturday logjams on The Connector.

INRIX studied the impact of traffic congestion in more than 1,000 cities in 38 countries, across five continents. Per the analysis, Los Angeles drivers spent more than 104 hours in peak drive-time congestion in 2016, earning that city the dubious top spot, but the ATL wasn’t too far behind.

Last year, Atlantans spent 71 hours per person driving on congested roadways during peak travel times, INRIX found. That equated to $1,861 in direct and indirect costs, such as burned gasoline.

That was good (or bad) for fourth in the U.S., behind LA, New York, and San Francisco.

Not surprisingly, when we polled Atlanta newcomers on what they liked least about living here, roughly 90 percent mentioned traffic, car culture, sprawl and/or the paucity of reliable transit options.

Anyhow, here’s the not-so-hot Top 10, which Atlanta ingloriously entered this year, per INRIX’s findings: