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S.F. traffic is ranked third-worst in nation

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Only Honolulu and Los Angeles have worse traffic conditions than San Francisco, according to a new report that compared congestion levels among major American cities.

Drivers here lose 48 hours annually stuck in traffic, with the slowest period occurring between 5:45 and 6 p.m. Thursdays, said the report compiled by Inrix, a company that analyzes traffic trends. Inrix used a series of traffic and transportation criteria to determine the rankings.

San Francisco is routinely listed as one of the most congested cities in the country. In September, the Texas Transportation Institute named The City the seventh-worst place to drive in America.

Although drivers in San Francisco continue to remain mired in traffic, overall conditions nationwide are improving.

Congestion levels in major metropolitan areas dropped 30 percent in 2011.

Bryan Mistele, president of Inrix, attributed the decline to the slow economic recovery and high gas prices.

wreisman@sfexaminer.com