Just how jammed are freeways in the Valley? New research from the University of Minnesota ranks Phoenix as the 5th worse metro city when it comes to how congestion affects access to jobs.
Researcher Andrew Owen says this definitely isn’t what commuters in the area want to hear. “It means that residents of Phoenix are impacted really strongly by congestion in terms of their ability to reach a lot of job opportunities,” says Owen.
While the numbers may look bad, on any given morning our freeways aren't in terrible shape especially compared to other large metro cities. There can be big crashes that turn into a traffic nightmare, but with so many different freeways and major surface streets, drivers can usually find smart routes around the crashes.
The congestion can also be a sign of success. “It means we’ve built these roads and highways and they’re full, people think these are valuable,” says Owen. “It’s just hard to tell that to someone his is looking at his watch and about to miss his first meeting of the day.”