California Cities with the Worst Traffic

July 11, 2019

If you live in California, you may get to enjoy beaches, sunshine, tacos and fresh produce every day. Unfortunately, you may also have to deal with bad traffic. That’s especially true if you live in one of the following cities.


Workers in this city located in north Los Angeles County have the longest commutes in the nation—not just in the state. This information comes from insurer Haven Life, which analyzed census data. Haven Life indicates that 35% of Palmdale workers spend more than two hours daily on their round-trip commutes. The average commute for all Palmdale workers is 85.4 minutes, and many drive to Los Angeles for work.

Not surprisingly, more time in this type of traffic can increase your chances of needing a traffic ticket attorney in Los Angeles. These commutes are costly in multiple ways.

San Francisco

San Francisco definitely has bad traffic, says a report from WalletHub. The personal finance website looked at factors such as infrastructure, traffic conditions, car ownership costs and auto safety to assess the U.S. cities with the best and worst traffic. It concluded that San Francisco has the worst traffic in California. One issue is the Bay Bridge, which is a choke point that causes a ripple effect of backups. Something similar happens with the Golden Gate Bridge. A traffic ticket lawyer in San Francisco may be able to help with tickets for red lights, accidents, suspended licenses and more.


Oakland follows San Francisco on the WalletHub report as another California city with horrible traffic. The city doesn’t have many freeways and is narrow and small, prime conditions for lots of jams. The Bay Bridge also comes into play.

Los Angeles

Los Angeles is third on the WalletHub list for the worst traffic in California. City officials have worked to enhance the transit system with additions such as bike lanes, but it seems that Los Angeles traffic is here to stay. Even building more roads probably won’t help with congestion. Studies show that traffic increases right along with road capacity.

San Diego

Research consistently shows that San Diego has some of the worst traffic in the nation and even in the world. For example, it came in 45th among 1,360 world cites on the INRIX 2017 Global Traffic Scorecard (Los Angeles was first, in case you’re wondering). Still, average one-way commute times in San Diego aren’t too terrible, coming out to 26 minutes, according to a report by the San Diego Association of Governments. The traffic in San Diego is a consequence of the city’s growth, and public transit options such as regional buses and trolleys do help alleviate it somewhat. A traffic lawyer in San Diego can consult with drivers who receive tickets for speeding, moving violations, reckless driving, DUI and other alleged infractions.

California is a huge and popular state. It’s only natural that some of its cities experience traffic woes. Workarounds such as telecommuting and waiting for off-peak times to visit friends help sometimes but by no means solve the problem. Get in touch with an attorney if you have tickets because they can limit your ability to drive.

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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