Where Is the Busiest Road in California?

May 21, 2018

Busy road

Everyone always picks on California for its traffic. The legendary rush hour traffic on I-10 outside of LA is the butt of every joke ever told about traffic. But, is it really that bad?

Well… Kinda.

Where is the Longest Commute in California?

When choosing your future home or job, you probably need to consider the commute. What’s the longest amount of time you’re willing to sit in the car, to and from work, 5 days a week? Most people would say that 15-minutes is a nice amount of time: just far enough away, but you’re home pretty quick on a Friday night.

For residents of San Jose, California, they have an average 39-minute commute one way. That makes their commute the longest in the country. Twelve percent of residents have a commute that’s over sixty minutes. Ouch.

Long Beach and Oakland are also in the top 10 across the US. Oakland has the highest percentage of residents in California with a commute over sixty minutes at 17%. Most of which, most likely, is sat in traffic.

The average commute in California is 28.9 minutes. Better than New York, Maryland, and New Jersey, but about 2 minutes longer than Texas and Florida. It will be no surprise that North Dakota has the fastest commutes with 16.6 minutes.

What Are the Busiest Roads in California?

Since the state is so big, California Department of Transportation (CalTrans) and the US Department of Transportation (USDOT) breaks their statistics into segments. The busiest highway, the busiest road and the busiest sections.

The Busiest Highway: Taking the number one spot in California is the I-405 in Orange County from Seal Beach Boulevard to the 22 freeway. That stretch of road sees 379,000 vehicles a day (as of 2011, the latest data available) travel along that strip. That’s 4 cars every second. 138 million trips a year go on that one stretch of road. This miserable stretch is just so busy, because that’s where Interstates 405 and 605, and the 22 freeway all converge.

The Busiest Road: According to CALTrans’s record, the busiest road in California is route 60 in Los Angeles County. Each year, a one-mile stretch of the road at mile marker 20 sees 461,000 vehicles a day. That’s 168 million trips per year in that one location. In fact, there is an entire stretch of Route 60 that goes for about 4 miles that is the busiest road in California.

Most Miles: I-5 has the distinction of the most miles driven in the state of California. Drivers drove 31.4 billion miles on that one freeway. To put that in perspective, that’s 160 round-trips to the Sun!

Busiest section of Highway: The I-5 at Santa Ana, Main Street is the next busiest portion of the California freeway system. Every day, 363,000 vehicles pass that spot. Every three days one vehicle passes that spot for every person in the state of Montana.

Busiest Avenue: The next busiest spot in the state is the I-10 at Vermont Avenue. 129,575,000 cars drive over that spot in a single year. Lined up bumper to bumper, all of those cars would stretch past Jupiter.

Rounding out the list, the rest of the most traveled spots in the state are around Los Angeles and Orange county. San Diego County eventually comes in with a single one mile stretch of I-15 at the junction of route 163. There are a mere 181,000 vehicles per day at the spot.

The Quietest Roads in California

For those of us who don’t want to share the road with a lot of people, there are places you can go. The least traveled stretch of highway that CalTrans counts is: Modoc County in the far Northeast of the state. Right at the Nevada State line, only 60 vehicles pass each day! That many vehicles pass over the busiest spot in the state in 4 seconds!

Most of the least traveled highways in the state are in the East, all along the state’s border and in the deserts. Probably not all that surprising.

Does California have the busiest roads in the world?

Not even close. California doesn’t even have the busiest highway in North America. That distinction belongs to the Canadians. Highway 401 in Ontario, Canada carries the most vehicles at 420,000 vehicles per day. That means that in a single year, 5 times more cars drive on that highway than the entire population of Canada. According to reports, that’s the business highway in the world, but of course, some nations, like China, aren’t usually included in the reports despite huge populations.

Whether your local highway is the busiest or the quietest, you want to make sure you’re covered whatever the comes down the road. Getting good insurance is vital to making your commute, vacation or trip to the grocery store is a success. Compare quotes with Compare.com and see how much you can save on your car insurance policy today.

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