Traffic congestion on I-25 in Denver recently earned itself a spot in the annals of traffic frustration with the title of 50th worst in the nation. The data research firm Inrix, conducted the analysis that determined the rankings.
According to their study, the 15.7-mile span of interstate from Colorado Boulevard to 84th Avenue will take only 16 minutes to traverse, on an easy day. On the worst of days, however, the same commute will consume 41 minutes of your day- totaling 37 hours every year for travelers in the Denver-metro area.
The analysis found the time when traffic is most congested is, not surprisingly, Friday at 4 p.m. Thursday at 8 a.m. is nearly as bad, however. Traveling along the corridor at that time, will take commuters twice as long as normal.
So, what is to blame for the delays? The firm says Denver’s growth is the culprit. Inrix reports cities that have witnessed the greatest economic expansion in the past year are most susceptible to the additional hassles surrounding worsened traffic conditions. Some of those consequences include higher emissions, reduced productivity, increased car accidents, and elevated stress levels. Inrix is responsible for synthesizing federal highway performance data and real-time traffic data.
The good news for Denver residents is at least their commute didn’t make the top 10. That honor belongs almost exclusively to Angelinos. Los Angeles holds six of the top ten spots on the list of nightmare commutes. A 26-mile section of U.S. 101 that requires 26 minutes in optimal conditions, can take 91 minutes on a bad day.
Another one of Colorado’s rough spots that made the list is an eastbound 7-mile stretch of Interstate 70 between the Winter Park exit and Dumont. Coming in at 346th worst, that commute can jump from 8 minutes to 14 on a bad day.
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Thanks to plans from the Colorado Department of Transportation, there may be some relief in sight for frustrated Colorado commuters. Plans to build a climbing lane on I-25 southbound at Berthoud Hill should alleviate congestion caused when one 18-wheeler attempts to overtake another on the 2-mile incline.
CDOT anticipates this plan will reduce the number of accidents in the area until the larger scale solution can be completed- the $9.5 million expansion of I-25 from Longmont to Fort Collins.
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