Cloudy Economic Outlook Combines with High Gas Prices to Reduce Traffic Congestion over Thanksgiving


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Los Angeles and San Francisco Top the List of Busiest Thanksgiving Traffic Cities

KIRKLAND, WA--Nov. 15, 2012: Americans preparing to travel on Wednesday in advance of the Thanksgiving holiday can expect to see less traffic congestion as compared to recent years. According to INRIX, a leading global provider of traffic information, analytics and applications, congestion is improving nationally as well as in the metropolitan areas that historically have the busiest traffic heading into the holiday weekend: Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Chicago and Washington, D.C.

"A stop n' go economy combined with record-high fuel prices compared to this time last year will reduce the amount of traffic congestion many drivers experience over the holiday this year," said Director of Community Relations Jim Bak. "While traffic congestion over Thanksgiving will not be nearly as bad as years past, rush hour will peak 2 hours earlier than normal.  Our advice to drivers is to leave before 2 p.m. or wait until after 6 p.m. to avoid traffic getting out of town." 

Top 10 Busiest Cities for Thanksgiving Traffic
INRIX has made the following predictions for traffic trends in the top 10 cities with the worst Thanksgiving holiday traffic on the Wednesday getaway day. Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Chicago and Washington, D.C. top this year's list, with commutes taking upwards of 30 percent longer than usual:

Rank

Metropolitan Area

2012 Rush Hour Peak Time: Wednesday Getaway Day

2012 Peak INRIX Delay Index

 

 

2011 Peak INRIX Delay Index

 

 

Percent Increase/Decrease in Congestion from 2011

1

Los Angeles

3:30-5:30 PM

33

48.3

-31%

2

San Francisco

3:30-5:00 PM

32

36.6

-12%

3

New York

3:30-5:30 PM

31

45

-31%

4

Chicago

3:30-5:00 PM

30.5

30.6

-.1%

5

Washington DC

3:30-5:00 PM

30

33.4

-10%

6

Baltimore

4:00-5:00 PM

29

21.6

+34%

7

Dallas/Fort Worth

3:30-4:30 PM

27

21.2

+27%

8

Houston

3:30-4:30 PM

26

20

+30%

9

Atlanta

4:00-5:00 PM

25

19.4

+29%

10

Hartford

3:30-4:00 PM

22

22

n/c

The above chart shows that, for example, the average trip in Los Angeles on the day before Thanksgiving is predicted to take drivers 33 percent longer than usual (Delay Factor). Nationally, drivers can expect the average trip on Wednesday afternoon to be 26 percent longer than on a normal day.

However, although INRIX has seen a general downward trend in traffic levels on a national scale, some cities are anticipated to experience a marked increase in congestion. For example, Atlanta, Baltimore, Dallas/Fort Worth and Houston can expect to see traffic congestion increase anywhere from 27 to 34 percent compared to last year. These "crossroads cities" are expected experience increased traffic resulting from a combination of commuters and holiday travelers converging on the roads at similar times.

Busiest Routes to and from Major Airports
In addition to the busiest cities for Thanksgiving traffic, INRIX also identified the busiest routes to and from major airports nationwide. According to the chart below, travelers in Los Angeles can expect to see the longest delays in and out of Bob Hope Airport and heading toward LAX. Los Angelinos heading toward John Wayne Airport via I-5 will fare much better, with an expected delay of only 8.5 minutes.

Metro Area

Airport Route

Distance (miles)

Worst Hour (Wednesday)

Peak Journey Travel Time

(Wednesday)

Average Expected Delay

Los Angeles

Routes to Bob Hope Airport via I-5

31.2

4pm

1h 37min

1h 7min

Los Angeles

From UCLA & Downtown LA to LAX

31.8

4pm

1h 29min

58.5 min

Los Angeles

Bob Hope Airport to Downtown LA via I-5 S

15.7

4pm

1h 5min

50 min

New York

Hunters Point to JFK via Long Island Expy E

11.1

4pm

54 min

43.5 min

Chicago

O'Hare Airport to Downtown via Kennedy Expy E

8.2

4pm

40.5 min

32.5 min

Philadelphia

Airport to Downtown Philadelphia via I-95 N

10.2

4pm

38.5 min

28.5 min

New York

NW Bronx to Newark Airport via New Jersey Turnpike S

20.9

4pm

29 min

9 min

Los Angeles

Routes to John Wayne Airport via I-5

22.2

4pm

28 min

8.5 min

Chicago

Downtown to O'Hare Airport via Kennedy Expy W

8.2

4pm

16.5 min

8.5 min

New York

Triborough Bridge to LaGuardia Airport via I-278 E

2.25

4pm

10 min

7.5 min

Boston

Auburndale to Logan Int'l Airport via I-90 E

20.8

3pm

24.5 min

4.5 min

San Francisco

Downtown to San Francisco Airport via US-101 S

9.3

4pm

9.5 min

2 min

Dallas/Ft Worth

Downtown to DFW Airport via TX-183 W

13.9

3pm

12.5 min

0.5 min

Atlanta

Downtown to Hartsfield Atlanta Airport via I-75 S

7.0

4pm

16 min

0.5 min

Black Friday Forecast 
INRIX also advises drivers to head out Friday morning if they want to avoid traffic. Traffic congestion will peak between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Black Friday with the heaviest traffic near retail districts and shopping centers.  Additional data on traffic trends on Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday and the return commute is available upon request.

INRIX Methodology
INRIX analyzed the Thanksgiving holiday periods in 2010 and 2011 and also incorporated traffic trends from recent major national holiday weekends in 2012 to develop a forecast for what drivers might expect over the upcoming Thanksgiving getaway and holiday weekend. In measuring the shifts in traffic congestion over these holiday periods, INRIX uses a common measure for congestion called the Travel Time Index referred to in our research as the INRIX Delay Index. The INRIX Delay [Index][Factor] represents the percent extra time a trip is expected to take due to traffic

For travellers wishing to stay up to date on the latest traffic conditions during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, the INRIX Traffic app provides free, up-to-the-minute insight into current traffic conditions as well as traffic forecasts for all highways, city streets and other heavily travelled local roads nationwide. The INRIX Traffic App is available on iOS, Android, Blackberry, Windows Phone and Windows 8. To learn more about INRIX Traffic as well as download the app, visit Inrix Traffic.

About INRIX 
INRIX® is a leading traffic intelligence platform delivering smart data and advanced analytics to solve transportation issues worldwide. INRIX crowd sources data daily from approximately 100 million vehicles and devices to deliver traffic and driving-related insight, as well as sophisticated analytical tools and services, across five industries in 35 countries.

With more than 200 customers and partners including Audi, ADAC, ANWB, BMW, the BBC, Ford Motor Company, the I-95 Coalition, MapQuest, Microsoft, NAVIGON, Nissan, O2, Tele Atlas, Telmap, Toyota and Vodafone, INRIX's real-time traffic information and traffic forecasts help drivers save time every day. 

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