Maps of the Month

February 2017:
Most Congested Urban Areas in the US

Posted by Michael Ziyambi | MTC GIS

This month’s map highlights a recent study released by Inrix Inc. that examines traffic congestion in over 1,000 cities – 240 in the U.S. – across 38 countries. The study reveals that the U.S. is ranked as the most congested developed country in the world, with drivers spending an average of 42 hours a year in traffic during peak hours. According to this study, the direct and indirect costs of congestion to all U.S. drivers amounts to nearly $300 billion in 2016, an average of $1,400 per driver.


U.S. cities dominated the top 10 most congested cities globally, with Los Angeles (first), New York (third), San Francisco (fourth), Atlanta (eighth) and Miami (10th) each dealing with an economic drain on the city upwards of $2.5 billion caused by traffic congestion. Los Angeles commuters spent an average of 104 hours last year in traffic jams during peak congestion hours more than any other city in the world. This contributed to congestion costing drivers in Los Angeles $2,408 each and the city as a whole $9.6 billion from direct and indirect costs. Direct costs relate to the value of fuel and time wasted, and indirect costs refer to freight and business fees from company vehicles idling in traffic, which are passed on to households through higher prices.

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January 2017:
How Large are Incomes in Each US County Compared to the Value of the Homes?

Posted by Michael Ziyambi | MTC GIS

This map shows median home values plotted against median household income in an effort to illustrate where the least affordable housing in the U.S. is located. The Bay Area, not surprisingly, has some of the least affordable housing in the country – both in absolute terms, and in terms relative to income. In San Francisco proper, the median home value is $800,000 with a median income of $81,000, giving a price-to-income ratio of nearly 10 to 1. In Marin County, the median home value is $815,000 with a median income of $93,000. This ratio is 8.8 times the median income of the county. In Silicon Valley, housing is still pricey, but many people are able to make up for it with higher incomes: San Mateo County has a ratio of 8.3, and Santa Clara County has a ratio of 7.3.

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