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Think D.C. traffic is bad? Try Istanbul

Sunday - 10/14/2012, 1:58pm  ET

Thomas Warren, wtop.com

WASHINGTON - Next time you're in rush hour traffic on the Beltway, and you wish you could escape to Paris or Rome, you may want to rethink that. Traffic there is worse.

At least, according to GPS navigation device maker TomTom.

Both of those highly sought-after travel cities have 34 percent traffic congestion ratings, tied for fifth worst in Europe in 2012, according to their new study. (PDF)

Traffic congestion in 31 metropolitan European cities were ranked compared to their 2011 levels. Istanbul, Turkey had the worst rating at 57 percent.

Compared to those cities, traffic in the D.C. region is not as bad.

Washington came in with a 26 percent rating, third worst in a list of other major metropolitan U.S. cities on the list.

TomTom's study ranks traffic in 26 major North American metropolitan cities. So, once Canada's traffic figures are included, D.C. drops to sixth (PDF).

Los Angeles tops the worst traffic list of North American cities with a rating of 36 percent.

The company comprised their numbers based on travel times during "non-congested periods" with those during "peak hours." The percentages represent the increase in travel time.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)