Bay Area commuters have been banging their heads against the wheel for years, if not decades. But according to an annual study by researchers at Texas A&M University, this year marks a congestion landmark: we've got it just as bad as Los Angeles.

The university's Transportation Institute is out with the latest edition of its Urban Mobility Report, which quantifies commute times, wasted hours, fuel expenditure and other effects of gridlock patterns. The report ranks DC's traffic as traffic congestion's biggest loser, with the Los Angeles and San Francisco metro areas tied for second place. And you know how much we hate sharing anything with LA.

The researchers concluded that over 2011, the year from which Texas A&M collected the data, the average driver in the Bay Area loses 61 hours to gridlocked roads and 25 gallons of gasoline. To put that in the context of your wallet, SF's bad traffic cost the average driver an extra $1,266 in 2011 (not to mention the emotional tolls and additional cost of blood pressure medication).

So what are we going to do about it? Telecommuting and high unemployment rates have helped level off traffic problems that could be even worse, but they're hardly long-term solutions to the problem. Better public transportation, carpooling, flexible working hours, and more intelligent construction planning are all factors. "There are solutions that work," the study reads. "Getting more productivity out of the existing road and public transportation systems is vital to reducing congestion and improving travel time reliability."

If nothing else, it may be time to put out put our "BEAT LA" chant to good use.