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Austin roads and highways most congested in Texas, study says

SAN ANTONIO (Texas News Radio) — Austin is the worst city in Texas for traffic congestion in 2018 and among the top 20 worst cities in North America.

The latest rankings by TomTom on traffic congestion using its GPS data puts the state’s capital city among the top 15 worst traffic congestion in the country.

The data found congestion in the Austin area increased the travel time in the region by 25 percent.

Mexico City was the worst on the continent with the congestion level at 52 percent, far ahead of the second-worst on the continent, Los Angeles, which was at 41 percent.  Mexico City was ninth-worst in the world and Los Angeles was 24th worst.

Mumbai had the world’s worst traffic with a congestion level of 65 percent.

In Austin, the congestion was worse on highways than non-highways and the evening rush was significantly more congested than the morning commute.  Congestion added 12 minutes for every 30 minutes if the trip had no congestion at all to a typical morning commute and added 19 minutes per 30 minute trip in the afternoon.

Traffic in Houston was slightly better than Austin, ranking in the top 20 nationally for congestion.  The congestion level was 23 percent.  Traffic was slightly worse on surface streets than on the highways.  Morning congestion added 13 minutes to every 30 minute trip and traffic in the afternoon added 18 minutes to what would normally have been a 30 minute drive.

Dallas-Fort Worth was the third-worst in the state and among the 40 worst metro areas in the country with a congestion level of 18 percent.  Surface streets were slightly worse than highways.  Congestion added 10 minutes to a 30 minute drive in the morning and 14 minutes to a 30 minute drive in the afternoon in the Metroplex.

San Antonio and McAllen were slightly better with a congestion level of 17 percent, putting them among the 50 worst metro areas in the country.

In San Antonio, congestion was nearly twice as bad on the surface streets than on the highways.  Traffic added 11 minutes to a 30 minute trip in the morning and 15 minutes to a 30 minute drive in the afternoon.

In McAllen, surface streets were slightly more likely to be impacted by congestion.  Issues on the roads added eight minutes to a 30 minute drive in the morning and 11 minutes to a 30 minute drive in the afternoon.

El Paso was the only other Texas city on the list with a congestion level of 15 percent — among the 60 worst areas in the country.  Surface streets were more prone to delays than highways, according to the TomTom data.  The morning rush hour saw a typical 30 minute trip become a 36 minute drive — congestion adding six minutes — and a typical 30 minute drive in the afternoon would take 39 minutes during the commute home.

The company said the TomTom Traffic Index is intended to help the public and planners create a “safer, cleaner, congestion-free world” by sharing data it gathers from users of its technology.


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