BALTIMORE (WJZ)—Maryland gets the No. 1 spot for the worst commute in the country, according to a new study.
Andrea Fujii explains why it’s so congested.
This study suggests more Marylanders are now driving across multiple counties to get to work, putting commute times above Los Angeles and even New York.
Friday evening’s commute was a mess, so it’s no surprise to many drivers that Maryland now ranks No. 1 for the longest commute nationwide.
“It just seems like it’s very congested lately,” said one driver.
The American Community Survey used 2010 U.S. Census Bureau data to determine Maryland drivers have an average commute of 32 minutes, and 47 percent or about 1.4 million drivers drive to another county for work.
The Maryland Department of Transportation says the area’s proximity to Washington is the culprit.
“In a small state with two large urban areas you pretty much have everybody jumping on the same roads, going to the same places, at the same time,” said Jack Cahalan, MDOT spokesman.
Arlie Pennington’s logged 300,000 miles driving from Pennsylvania to Baltimore every day.
“Listen to the radio and my wife,” is what he said he does during the ride.
MDOT also says Maryland is a pass through state so lots of commuters clog up the roads going north and south.
MDOT expects additions to the red and purple light rail lines, MARC trains and highway improvements will ease congestion. But maintaining all the traffic has a silver lining.
“With transportation congestion that usually means you’ve got a fairly vibrant economic environment,” Cahalan said.
But that doesn’t comfort those who spend at least an hour behind the wheel each day.
“It’s a little bit annoying,” said one motorist.
More than three million Marylanders drive to work every day, and these commute times don’t include mass transit.
New York is now in second place with an average commute of 33 seconds less than Maryland.