New Study Shows Denver Traffic is Improving... Slightly

According to a recent study conducted by the navigation and mapping company TomTom, Denver traffic is improving… slightly.

The Amsterdam-based company reported a 1 percent decrease in the amount of general traffic congestion in 2015 from the previous year. During heavy traffic periods, however, Denver motorists can expect to spend 21 percent more time sitting in traffic.

According to the TomTom Traffic Index 2016 report, Denver ranks 113th for traffic congestion out of the 174 largest cities in the world- not even breaking into the top 100. Los Angeles ranked as the worst U.S. city, and Mexico City is the world’s worst place to try to get around.

Denver commuters can expect to spend 98 hours every year sitting in traffic during the most congested times of day. The report also suggests that motorists can expect the most delays on December 15- statistically the worst day to be on the road in Denver.

Unfortunately, it’s not all good news for Denver drivers. In March it was announced that the 15.7 mile stretch of I-25 from Colorado Boulevard to 84th Avenue has moved up the list of the nation’s worst corridors for traffic congestion.

The Washington-based traffic analysis company, Inrix compiles the list. The stretch of I-25 moved to 50th worst for congestion in the country, up from 173rd only last year.

During the most congested periods, it takes a motorist approximately 41 minutes to traverse this particular corridor. The report notes that Friday at 4 p.m. is the worst time to be caught on this stretch of road.

And to make matters worse, in the October annual congestion report, the Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) reported that things could get increasingly worse over the next two decades.

According to the DRCOG, the normal midday lull from about 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., will see so much traffic by 2040 that it could be as congested as morning rush hour. And any early afternoon accidents- if not cleared in a timely manner- could potentially exacerbate evening rush hour congestion, instigating hours of backups.

Since the 1990s, dozens of projects have unfolded to relieve congested traffic in the Denver area. These projects have totaled over $11 billion. Harsh financial realities, however, have slowed other plans to alleviate traffic-choked corridors, such as I-25 through the north metro area.

The harsh reality is that politics and recurring budget woes may delay the raising of funds and possibly keep the region stuck in traffic for a long time to come.

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