Twin Cities commuters spend more than two days a year stuck in traffic, study says

edmenendez.jpg
edmenendez | Flickr Creative Commons
Traffic was apparently moving smoothly through downtown on this morning.
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.

See also:
Minnesota's highways among the worst in the nation, study says

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:

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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:

TCCongestionQuarter.jpg
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:

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To read TomTom's full study for yourself, click to page two.


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29 comments
truckmeyer
truckmeyer

Live where you work, or shut your pie hole. If you live in an Apple Valley McMansion, and commute downtown in an SUV, I don't want to hear you whining about the Minnesota-River bottleneck. You are the problem.

Anjel Atup
Anjel Atup

as if, this traffic is a breeze!

Beth Rahman-Johnson
Beth Rahman-Johnson

The worst part of rush hour traffic: the "left lane blocker" during rush hour, the 3 cars going 5 miles under the speed limit side by side by side and the drivers who act like a light, misty rain is just like 12 inches of snow. If you're not passing, get out of the left lane.

Jeremy Hop
Jeremy Hop

Why is this a story, when the article and data itself reveals no real traffic. Kind of like reporting a story about how the grass is green in July.

Matthew Gramlich
Matthew Gramlich

What about the 86 days a year we spend working? Or 86 days a year sleeping? With traffic that's like 174 days a year that we can't do whatever we want!

Dan Mason
Dan Mason

This number seems low considering how much time suckers spend on deadlocked 94.

Dave Kragness
Dave Kragness

What point are you trying to make? That 2 days is good or bad? Based on the picture you chose...we have NO TRAFFIC at all! :-) Maybe pic a more relevant picture if you are trying to show that the roads are a parking lot...which they are not...most of the time.

Scott M Watts
Scott M Watts

Seriously.. you couldn't have found a better picture? Pick the one with SIX vehicles on the roads? LOL

Rick Miller
Rick Miller

One tip to speed things up-Stay off the goddamn phone while driving Drive now, talk later

Sam Wayne
Sam Wayne

HAHA fuck that. ride a bike!

theoko
theoko

I'm shocked that traffic is so bad in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil that it made the top of the 20 most congested cities in North America.

Robert Rollins
Robert Rollins

Not sure how the Green Line will hopefully reverse any traffic increases from the 'burbs. But if the time is the main measurement for measuring congestion, I'm skeptical that a train only going 45mph, stopping every mile, and stopping for red lights in both downtowns and University Ave. would decrease commuting time for riders below the time it takes to just drive. Also, how many cars would the Green Line pull off the road anyway?

Mike Giralico
Mike Giralico

The only thing close to problem at all is the whole 94 to 35w junction. It needs a complete redesign but isn't that dire. If lrt keeps expanding that shouldn't matter at all though.

Ryan Caleb
Ryan Caleb

I agree with first commenter. Traffic in twin cities is not bAd. Everything is also really close

Chris Porto
Chris Porto

I complain about traffic just as much as the next guy. But truth be told, twin cities traffic is pretty mild compared to other major cities.

John Carlson
John Carlson

How can we tie this story with the Condos @ Lake Calhoun, don't tell me the publicity machine has run it's course ....

Hector Gustavo
Hector Gustavo

Lol I just moved from Miami try the traffic their. So far here its easy

John Lombardi
John Lombardi

I've lived in this area for 3 years now and I can say, there really isn't a traffic problem here. AND the picture you used above indicates what you call traffic. lol

Nathan Palmer
Nathan Palmer

this isn't news. Do some math before you post this. Would anyone care if the headline said "TC commuters average less than 8 minutes of traffic every day."

Dave Eckblad
Dave Eckblad

Ugh, posting news articles on Facebook. Ugh, so hard. Ugh, words.

KennyX
KennyX

Rupar: Are you really that dense to think that the Green line is going to reduce traffic congestion? You do realize that the people who will be riding the train will be the same fucking people who used to ride the 16 bus to the welfare office and liquor store. Suburbanites who work in either of the downtowns aren't going to be riding this thing!

atrupar
atrupar moderator

@theoko Thanks for pointing that out. We corrected that.

ChazDanger
ChazDanger topcommenter

@KennyX Kenny, Are you really that shortsighted? You do realize that the people who will be riding the train are using it for their commute, for events, and for sporting events.  These people don't use the #16 bus.  Your Welfare office prejudice is a big reach based on what you assume. Suburbanites who work in either downtowns don't use it,  and that's fine. But guess what????  They will use it for some reason and it will save them time and money.  

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