Breaking news, we know: L.A. tops the list of major American cities when it comes to time spent in your car, “excess” gas used waiting in traffic, and commuter stress.

We spent more than a half-billion hours staring at brake lights. This according to the just-released Urban Mobility Report (PDF) by the Texas Transportation Institute. The study is based on data from 2009.

Any light at the end of this jam-packed tunnel?

“When the economy picks up, so does the traffic,” Dave Schrank, a research scientist at the institute, told the Whittier Daily News. “It's the bad that comes with the good.”

L.A.'s ranking actually includes the larger metropolitan area, with Long Beach, Santa Ana and most of what's in between thrown in.

Your average congestion cost in a year: 12 grand. Time wasted in traffic? 63 hours. (Time you could be wasting reading blogs).

And our fair metropolis didn't always top the nation. Chicago beat us in “truck congestion cost,” whatever that means.

The important thing here is that you have a good stereo, an iPhone, and and an automatic transmission.

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