Heavy traffic on Interstate 5
Heavy traffic on Interstate 5 in North County. Courtesy SANDAG

San Diegans often complain about the traffic, but it’s not near as bad as in other big American cities.

A new report from INRIX, a Kirkland, WA-based analytics firm, ranked San Diego — the 8th largest city — only 17th worst for traffic.

According to the INRIX 2019 Globbal Traffic Scorecard released Monday, the average San Diegan spends 70 hours a year in congested traffic, with speeds dropping to 13 mph during the last mile of a commute.

Major commuting bottlenecks include La Jolla Village Parkway, Route 163 through Balboa Park, Interstate 5 through downtown and north of the border, and much of Interstate 15.

It’s much worse in other big cities. Los Angeles ranks 6th worst, with the average driver spending 103 hours in congested traffic, though the last-mile speed is a little higher at 16 mph.

The worst U.S. city? It’s historic Boston, with a road network dating from colonial days. The average Bostonian spends 149 hours in traffic, with the last mile speed only 12 mph.

The absolute worst cities for congestion aren’t in the United States, but in South America and Europe. Bogota, Columbia, ranks as the worst, with drivers averaging 191 hours a year in congestion and the last mile speed dropping to just 9 mph.

So maybe we should smile a bit the next time we’re struck in traffic in San Diego.

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.