A sign over Interstate 5 near Seattle during the COVID-19 pandemic. (GeekWire photo)
It turns out that sitting at home goes a long way towards keeping people out of traffic.
INRIX, the Kirkland, Washington-based transportation technology and data company, released its 2020 Global Traffic Scorecard, and the COVID-19 pandemic – and stay-at-home orders – has had more than a huge impact on traffic congestion and mobility trends 1,000 cities in 50 countries.
Savings compared to the previous year: On average, American drivers lost just 26 hours in traffic in 2020, compared to 99 hours in 2019, saving $ 980 year over year. Nationwide, drivers saved more than 3.4 billion hours, saving $ 51 billion in time compared to 2019. “Hours Lost To Congestion” is the total number of hours lost during rush hour compared to free traffic conditions.
Seattle Numbers: Seattle was ranked 15th among the most polluted urban areas in the US, with 25 hours lost due to congestion – a 67% improvement over 2019. Downtown trips decreased 50% and collisions decreased 35%. In the early days of last year’s pandemic, INRIX reported that the average speed on major roads in the Seattle area was more than 10 mph (10 mph) faster than normal on the first full work day after Microsoft, Amazon, and other large corporations worked-from-home Policies put in place amid the novel coronavirus outbreak.
25 Most Polluted Urban Areas in the US: New York topped the list of the most polluted US cities. The 100 hours lost due to congestion were still better than cities like Bogota, Colombia (133 hours) and Bucharest, Romania (134 hours).
The Abandoned Downtown Portland: The city saw the largest decrease (-66%) in downtown travel since the pandemic and related restrictions came into effect, followed by San Francisco (-64%), Washington, DC (-60%), Detroit (-59% ) and Boston (-56%). Nationwide, the largest underground railways recorded an average decrease in journeys to the city center of 44%.
The takeaways: According to Bob Pishue, transportation analyst at INRIX, COVID-19 has fundamentally changed when, where and how people move.
- “Government restrictions and the continued spread of the virus led to changes in travel behavior seemingly overnight. Morning commutes in cities around the world went without delay as people made fewer car and transit trips to offices, schools, shopping malls, and other public areas. “
- “While downtown travel has been hardest hit by the spread of the virus and subsequent government restrictions, reducing traffic congestion has resulted in faster shuttles for critical workers, more reliable deliveries, and streamlined freight traffic, all of which are vital to the economy Meaning are. We anticipate that downtown trips will continue to lag behind suburban and rural trips through 2021. “
Go deeper: The Washington State Department of Transportation has a “Multimodal Performance System Performance Dashboard” for monitoring data related to travel on freeways, rails, ferries, and transit.