Data shows Valley traffic delays down despite busier roads amid pandemic

Phoenix Traffic Freeway Roads
Posted at 10:58 AM, Sep 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-18 08:26:21-04

PHOENIX — Recent data from the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) shows a significant decrease in traffic delays in the Valley despite busier roads amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The data showed delays during the weekday morning rush hour significantly decreased since April 2020, at levels from 30% to 40% of pre-COVID, according to MAG.

Dr. Vladimir Livshits, director of MAG’s Transportation Technologies and Services Division, says people driving at different times is the greatest reason for the decrease in congestion, along with other factors.

“Regional travel patterns seemed to have changed due to increased telework and different socioeconomic behaviors, including more online shopping and entertainment,” says Dr. Livshits. “Major infrastructure improvements and road-widening projects also have reduced travel delays.”

Although telecommuting and other lifestyle changes continue to have an impact on traffic, daily traffic for freight deliveries has stayed consistent. MAG says heavy truck traffic has remained at levels of 100% or above since the spring of 2020.

With students back to in-person learning, MAG says it plans to continue monitoring the data as new traffic patterns could develop and it could impact daily commutes.