Sep 29, 2022 - News

Dallas traffic congestion is back

Change in traffic congestion in most populous U.S. cities
Data: Streetlight; Chart: Jacque Schrag/Axios

Feeling your blood pressure spike in rush hour like it's 2019?

What's happening: Downtown traffic congestion in major U.S. cities has risen significantly since the early days of the pandemic but remains short of pre-outbreak levels, per research from traffic data firm StreetLight.

Details: Traffic congestion — as measured by the amount of time vehicles spend in traffic compared with the time such travel would take in free-flow conditions — is down about 27% across major U.S. cities' downtowns compared to pre-pandemic levels, reports Axios' Alex Fitzpatrick.

  • Yes, but: Traffic has shifted away from city centers with metro-wide driving increasing 4% since before the coronavirus pandemic.

Zoom in: Downtown Dallas traffic is the worst between 10am and 3pm, reaching 79% of pre-pandemic levels. Rush hour between 3-7pm is nearing that level.

  • The morning hours have reached only 60% of pre-pandemic traffic levels downtown.

The big picture: The resurgence in downtown traffic "may signal good news for the economy, but it's bad news for overall emissions and quality of life as traffic congestion makes a comeback across America," StreetLight's report says.

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