Feb 15, 2022 - News

Minneapolis drivers lost a day to traffic last year

Data: TomTom Traffic Index 2021; Chart: Jacque Schrag/Axios
Data: TomTom Traffic Index 2021; Chart: Jacque Schrag/Axios

Minneapolis drivers lost nearly an entire day to traffic last year, but we still have it better than before the pandemic.

What's happening: We're spending less time in traffic, especially during traditional commute times, as many people continue to work from home.

By the numbers: Overall congestion levels in North America were down 14% in 2021 compared to 2019. At traditional peak hours, the drop in traffic was 31%.

  • In Minneapolis, the total time spent in traffic last year was up 1% from 2020, to 23 hours, but it was still down 7% from 2019 levels, according to TomTom's index.

Between the lines: The change in traffic patterns could be one of the lasting trends of the pandemic, Axios transportation correspondent Joann Muller writes, but a lot will depend on whether remote work sticks or not.

Zoom out: While 23 hours of local car time might seem like a lot, it's a far cry from congestion hot spots like New York City (80 hours) and Los Angeles (75 hours).

  • Our 10% congestion level — meaning, on average, traffic was 10% worse than the baseline — was good enough to rank us 73rd in the nation and 395th globally for cities.

The bottom line: Traffic congestion isn't as bad as it was before COVID upended our weekday commutes. But it's still stealing our time.

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