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.

Comments (9)
  1. Driving tired says:

    Birth control, People! Time to reduce our numbers! Planet Earth is getting too crowded. We’re seeing all the effects of over crowding. Stop having babies!

  2. john says:

    And they wonder why I left the Balto/DC area back in 1999. This is one of many reasons I left, NEVER to return!

  3. Laura says:

    If it’s a pass thru state I don’t see how that’s good for the economy. People on the way to some place else aren’t going to pull over anywhere in Baltimore for anything….Main reason? They can’t! There’s no place to park in that hell hole.

  4. sheriff says:

    N.Y. has a superior transit system while Balto metro officals couldn’t pass a third grade efficiency test. The city just blows.

    1. Come on says:

      Why, then, do you stick around, “sheriff”? Every post of yours is a complaint. Are you one of the “welfare rats” you moan about in other articles? Can’t go anywhere else because your welfare check can’t carry you there? Perhaps YOU need to move or get an additional job to fund your departure.

    2. trains says:

      Subway and light rail only run on the West side of Baltimore & Baltimore County.
      N.Y. runs all over the CITY!

  5. Rob says:

    Solution to traffic = Slower traffic keep right.

    “Slower” doesn’t mean slower than 55mph, it means slower than the person who just pulled up behind you, and means to pass, but you’re hogging the left lane.

    1. Jonathan Chiles says:

      Rob, completely agree. I have seen times on 95 where all 4 lanes across are doing the exact speed, and everyone is clustered up behind them. Definitely creates the situation for angry drivers as everyone behind them is constantly tapping brakes for no reason.
      Strange thing is, I am pretty sure Maryland made a law against this, yet I have yet to see it enforced. Much like requiring headlight use while wipers are in use.

      German autobahn has a good saying. “Drive- Right” Pretty much what you were saying rob. If you are in the fast lane, use it for passing then get back over.

  6. Melody Peterson says:

    I’m guessing that you haven’t really experienced rush hour traffic, Rob. During rush hour, nobody is going to be able to get up to 55 mph in any lane.

    I’m not at all surprised that people are driving in every lane, also. When you have that many cars on the road, it would be too tempting when seeing an empty left lane to scoot on over there to try to make your commute go a little bit faster. These ideas you all are suggesting are great for when traffic is not that dense.

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