Twin Cities commuters spend more than two days a year stuck in traffic, study says
Traffic was apparently moving smoothly through downtown on this morning.
edmenendez | Flickr Creative Commons
TomTom's 2014 Traffic Index uses GPS data from millions of users to break down both how congested each major metro in the Americas is relative to the others and which times of the week are most gridlocked.
The study indicates our roadways are relatively unclogged -- out of the 62 cities evaluated, the Twin Cities ranked as the 42nd most congested. But last year was a little hairier than 2012, as congestion increased by about 20 percent year to year.
Hopefully the opening of Green Line LRT this Saturday will help reverse that trajectory over the rest of 2014 and beyond.
The study's methodology uses GPS data to determine how much extra time people spend in cars getting from point A to point B during rush hour compared to times when traffic is flowing freely. So, for example, if it takes you 30 minutes to drive from Forest Lake to Minneapolis when traffic is flowing freely, but 45 minutes during the morning rush hour, that means TomTom's congestion rating for I-35 south that morning is 50.
For Twin Cities roadways as a whole, here are the best and worst days for getting around smoothly:
Tuesday morning and Thursday evening are the worst; Friday morning and Monday evening the best.
In terms of times of the year, the study indicates that holidays are the most congested, and mid-winter the least:
The most congested traffic day of 2013 was Wednesday, December 4, the study says.
The Twin Cities' overall congestion rating is 15 percent. That's not bad at all when compared to other metros, but it does mean those with a half-hour rush-hour commute can expect to be stuck in traffic for 21 minutes daily, or 59 hours a year, the study says. That's a lot of talk radio!
Here's the list of the 20 most congested cities in the Americas:
To read TomTom's full study for yourself, click to page two.
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