By Mike Schuh

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — There is frustration behind the wheel. If you think Baltimore’s rush hour traffic is bad, you’re right.

Mike Schuh reports on some data that confirms the suspicions.

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Traffic in a lot of big cities is a handful. But considering Baltimore’s population, it’s a lot worse because we are much higher than most people think.

If the ribbon of red looks all too familiar, it’s because it is.

Commuter Joe Chamberlin sees it all the time. Stop and go. Stop and go.

“It’s unbelievable. I don’t understand it,” said Chamberlin.

In the entire country, Baltimore is fifth worst, only better than Houston, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C. and Chicago.

It’s this — constantly having the foot on the brakes — driving the study.

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Commuters say traffic is pretty bad, but it’s something the state is well aware of.

“We live in one of the most congested urban areas in the country, but it’s also an area that is economically prosperous, and with that economic prosperity comes congestion,” said Jack Cahalan, Maryland Department of Transportation.

There’s a Jekyll and Hyde aspect to this study. If I-95 is taken out the equation, it becomes a completely different study.

“When you look at some of the other criteria they use, we are more in the line with the market size of what we are. Roughly in the low 20s, kind of area,” said Cahalan.

To think that this will ever completely go away is unrealistic.

Remember Joe? He, like most of us, has found a way to cope.

“Oh, absolutely. If you don’t leave before 7:30, it’s a long ride,” said Chamberlin.

Good news! Help is on the way, particularly for the I-95 corridor near White Marsh. The state will open the new middle lanes around 2014, but drivers will have to pay a toll to travel on them.

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This is the third year that the Baltimore region has been fifth in this study.