Results from Regional Traffic Congestion Analysis Released

Dec 2, 2011

WASHINGTON, DC – Results from the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board’s (TPB) 2011 Aerial Traffic Congestion Survey indicate that several areas of the region are experiencing increasing congestion. The survey, which is conducted every three years, highlights changes in congestion locations and durations in comparison to earlier surveys.

Overall, traffic congestion in the region increased significantly between 2008 and 2011, after decreasing between 2005 and 2008 due to the economic recession.

Ron Kirby, Director of Transportation Planning at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG), said the results represent a double-edged sword. “Congestion is worsening because the economy has improved since the last survey. Depending on which part you focus on, there’s good news and there’s bad news,” Kirby said.

According to the 2011 Survey, the most congested locations in the region are:

1. Northbound I-395 (from VA 27/Washington Boulevard to VA 110/Jefferson Davis Highway)

From 8:30 to 9:30 am, average speed is 5 miles per hour

2. (tie) Inner Loop I-495 (from VA 193/Georgetown Pike to George Washington Memorial Parkway)

From 5:30 to 6:30 pm, average speed is 5-10 miles per hour

2. (tie) Southbound I-395/Southwest Freeway (from 4th Street to 12th Street)

From 6:00 to 7:00 pm, average speed is 5-10 miles per hour

4. Eastbound I-66 (from VA 7/Leesburg Pike to Dulles Access Road)

From 6:00 to 7:00 pm, average speed is 7-10 miles per hour)

5. (tie) Inner Loop I-495 (from MD 355/I-270 to MD 185/Connecticut Avenue)

From 4:30 to 5:30 pm, average speed is 10-15 miles per hour

5. (tie) Outer Loop I-495 (from VA 267/Dulles Toll Road to VA 123/Chain Bridge Road)

From 5:30 to 6:30 pm, average speed is 10-15 miles per hour)

Although congestion increased overall, there were areas that experienced congestion reduction since 2008. The biggest positive impact on congestion in the region was the opening of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge. What was previously a location of hours-long congestion during the morning peak on the Inner Loop of the Capital Beltway (I-95) from St. Barnabas Road in Prince George’s County to Telegraph Road in Alexandria has been completely eliminated.

Other areas with significantly reduced congestion during the morning peak period include Eastbound Dulles Toll Road (VA 267) between Centreville Road and Hunter Mill Road in Fairfax County, Southbound MD 295/I-295 approaching and beyond the US 50 interchange, and Westbound and Southbound Southwest Freeway/I-395 across the District of Columbia.

This is the seventh edition of the Aerial Traffic Congestion Survey. The TPB has commissioned these surveys since 1993 to monitor congestion on the region’s freeways during morning and evening peak periods. To view the complete report, click here.

This program is directed and managed by COG and is executed by Skycomp, Inc. For additional resources, including photographs, maps, and graphics, contact Daivamani Sivasailam at siva@mwcog.org or 202-962-3226.

 
Back to news

Related News

  • SeptShock2016_flickr-Bossi_cropped600
    News

    TPB News in 2016: A look back at our top stories

    December 27, 2016

    As 2016 comes to a close, we’re looking back at the top TPB News stories of the year. Over the next few weeks we’ll be highlighting our favorite articles and...

  • Thanksgiving2016_flickr-Bossi_cropped2
    News

    Pre-Thanksgiving traffic slowdowns reached their worst point Tuesday evening

    December 1, 2016

    TPB traffic researchers looked at how traffic conditions on area roadways played out in the days leading up to Thanksgiving Day. Their analysis points to the...

  • CarFreeDay2016_BusStop_Flickr-ElvertBarnes_cropped600
    News

    This Car Free Day, try out travel modes that might help you avoid back-ups

    September 13, 2016

    A recent TPB traffic analysis showed that September is one of the worst months for traffic in the Washington area. It also showed that “September Shock,” the...