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Author Topic: Is "rush hour" declining?  (Read 6475 times)

webny99

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Is "rush hour" declining?
« on: October 23, 2017, 10:09:57 PM »

Do you think rush hour, in the traditional sense, is becoming less noticeable/significant over time?

There are several factors working towards this end, including more working from home, more flexible contracts, and an ageing population.

An off-shoot of this topic: which days seem to have the worst rush hour traffic?
Here's my estimate for my area, best to worst: Friday, Monday, Wednesday, Tuesday, Thursday.
Maybe I just get bad luck. But Thursdays seem extra bad for some reason :rolleyes:
« Last Edit: January 02, 2018, 08:59:11 AM by webny99 »
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Otto Yamamoto

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Re: Is "rush hour" declining?
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2017, 10:52:10 PM »

Do you think rush hour, in the traditional sense, is becoming less noticeable/significant over time?

There are several factors working towards this end, including more working from home, more flexible contracts, and an ageing population.

An off-shoot of this topic: which days seem to have the worst rush hour traffic?
Here's my estimate for my area, best to worst: Friday, Monday, Wednesday, Tuesday, Thursday.
Maybe I just get bad luck. But Thursdays seem extra bad for some reason :rolleyes:
Not on the Lexington Ave line.

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US 89

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Re: Is "rush hour" declining?
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2017, 11:12:22 PM »

An off-shoot of this topic: which days seem to have the worst rush hour traffic?
Here's my estimate for my area, best to worst: Friday, Monday, Wednesday, Tuesday, Thursday.
Maybe I just get bad luck. But Thursdays seem extra bad for some reason :rolleyes:

For the Salt Lake City area, I would guess, from best to worst:
Friday, Monday, Thursday, Wednesday, Tuesday.

On the weekends, the roads are very light in the morning but fill up after about 10am to levels similar to a 3pm drive on a weekday. They stay like that for the entire afternoon.
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TheHighwayMan394

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Re: Is "rush hour" declining?
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2017, 03:54:38 AM »

Depends on your city. For the Twin Cities Friday is the easiest day to go inbound in the morning, but it's also the worst day to be going outbound in the afternoon especially if you're trying to go northward.
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sparker

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Re: Is "rush hour" declining?
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2017, 04:37:29 AM »

In the greater Bay Area, rush hour is not only persisting, it's actually expanding; whereas four years ago you'd find some freeways (such as I-880) to be cleared out in both directions by about 9:30 a.m, with congestion building up again about 3 p.m. -- now you're lucky not to run into residual traffic as late as 10:30-11 a.m. -- and the afternoon equivalent seems to build up about 2:30 p.m. these days.  The latter has been a greater Los Angeles phenomenon for decades, as the larger warehouse/distribution/fulfillment centers invariably have a shift change at 2:30 p.m. (3 daily shifts for around-the-clock operation); while the Bay area doesn't feature the massive distribution facilities found in SoCal (although the Valley region centered around Stockton appears to be on its way toward this status), the trend of more and more firms toward employee "flex time" is likely contributing to the midday congestion increase.
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jakeroot

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Re: Is "rush hour" declining?
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2017, 04:48:20 AM »

Rush hour traffic, in both Seattle and Vancouver, doesn't seem to be getting worse as fast as it used to (it's already about as bad as it can get), but that's mostly due to both cities investing heavily in public transit, which is absorbing much of the growth (transplants not buying cars, it would seem).

For example, the express lanes on the 405 north of Bellevue, WA carry way more traffic than any of the general purpose lanes, but that's mostly due to carpooling and buses. So, technically, more "people" are using the road than before, but traffic isn't any worse than five years ago (although arguably worse than 10 or 15 years ago).

In Vancouver, the whole concept of "Vancouverism" lends itself to persistently poor traffic, but that's due to a philosophy that favors alternative modes of transportation over personal vehicles, so traffic is just always there. Vancouver's traffic has always been complete shit, and has beaten LA to become the worst traffic spot in North America on several occasions. Like Seattle (although, really the other way around, since Vancouver has always been into public transportation), much of the city's growth is absorbed by public transportation/walking/cycling, so traffic doesn't seem to get worse. But, those modes of transportation are popular because of how bad the traffic already is.

If you've spent time in either city, your tolerance for traffic is so high, it's hard to comprehend how it could get worse. So, to answer the original question: yes, it's becoming less noticeable, but only figuratively. It's still really bad.

In either city, the only lightly-travelled days are bank holidays. Every day of the week has traffic, morning and evening (although less on Sunday).

---

tl;dr: traffic is probably getting worse, but it's already so bad I don't really notice.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2017, 06:29:54 AM by jakeroot »
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jeffandnicole

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Re: Is "rush hour" declining?
« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2017, 06:20:25 AM »

Do you think rush hour, in the traditional sense, is becoming less noticeable/significant over time?

There are several factors working towards this end, including more working from home, more flexible contracts, and an ageing population.

An off-shoot of this topic: which days seem to have the worst rush hour traffic?
Here's my estimate for my area, best to worst: Friday, Monday, Wednesday, Tuesday, Thursday.
Maybe I just get bad luck. But Thursdays seem extra bad for some reason :rolleyes:

Like Sparker said, I'm finding rush hour to be expanding, not declining.

As far as the worst day, actually, I don't see any true pattern.  If anything, Wednesdays can be the worse, because it's before long weekends (starting Thursday) and after long weekends (ending Tuesday).  Fridays are the worst when there's a holiday Monday with getaway traffic.   Tuesdays can be pretty slow as well, especially in the morning for some reason.
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ET21

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Re: Is "rush hour" declining?
« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2017, 08:56:28 AM »

Chicago is just bad, even over the weekends. But if I had to rank days from worst to best: Friday, Thursday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Monday least for me. Those who take the Kennedy might say every single day
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vdeane

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Re: Is "rush hour" declining?
« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2017, 12:55:56 PM »

It's hardly declining in the Capital District.  If anything, I'd say it's getting worse.  Our bad days are Thursday and Friday, especially on three day weekends.  Being where I-90 and I-87 meet, we get all the tourist traffic.
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ekt8750

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Re: Is "rush hour" declining?
« Reply #9 on: October 24, 2017, 02:57:40 PM »

Not in the Philly region. There are days where the major Interstates in the region are just plain undrivable. All it takes is one accident or one clown not driving fast enough or poorly merging and that freeway could be jammed for miles. Yeah part of it is due to subpar freeways but the sheer volume on the roads is crazy.
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CtrlAltDel

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Re: Is "rush hour" declining?
« Reply #10 on: October 24, 2017, 02:58:07 PM »

Not entirely on topic, but this is a chart that I made of the average travel times for every hour of every day of the week, as calculated by Google Maps for a trip beginning at the Hillside Strangler traveling eastbound on I-290 to the Circle Interchange, then north on I-90 / I-94, continuing onto north I-94 at the split, and ending when the Edens Spur meets I-294.

(So, it's a bit of an insane thing to actually drive, but I think it provides a good understanding of how Chicago-area traffic works overall.)



As you can see, morning traffic peaks on Wednesday, and the afternoon traffic peaks on Friday. Weekends have less traffic, with both peaks "merging" at a point earlier in the afternoon.

Back on topic: I used to be able to reliably get on I-290 East at Saint Charles Road and make it to the I-294 ramps without sitting in traffic from say, 11:00 am to 2:00 pm. This has not been the case for about a year now. That slowdown now bridges the gap between the morning and afternoon rush on most weekdays, even Mondays.
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PHLBOS

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Re: Is "rush hour" declining?
« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2017, 03:33:06 PM »

Not in the Philly region. There are days where the major Interstates in the region are just plain undrivable. All it takes is one accident or one clown not driving fast enough or poorly merging and that freeway could be jammed for miles. Yeah part of it is due to subpar freeways but the sheer volume on the roads is crazy.
Similar can be said for much of the Greater Boston area.
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txstateends

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Re: Is "rush hour" declining?
« Reply #12 on: October 24, 2017, 03:49:07 PM »

I'm afraid rush hour commutes in north TX are getting longer.  More and more people are moving to the area, and the metro area is fairly spread out, so people get up and get going earlier, then take longer to get home in the evening.  Traditional reverse commute pace seems to be taking longer now, with the growth in suburban job center areas seeing a bigger draw in traffic than what it used to look like.  Also, Saturdays have seen traffic growth to the point of looking like rush hours during the week do.
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02 Park Ave

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Re: Is "rush hour" declining?
« Reply #13 on: October 24, 2017, 03:55:33 PM »

There is a radio station in Vancouver B.C. (CHMJ on 730 kHz) which broadcasts traffic reports comtinuously 24 hours a day.  Ferries are included in the traffic reporting.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2017, 11:43:33 PM by 02 Park Ave »
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kkt

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Re: Is "rush hour" declining?
« Reply #14 on: October 24, 2017, 03:58:14 PM »

Not entirely on topic, but this is a chart that I made of the average travel times for every hour of every day of the week, as calculated by Google Maps for a trip beginning at the Hillside Strangler traveling eastbound on I-290 to the Circle Interchange, then north on I-90 / I-94, continuing onto north I-94 at the split, and ending when the Edens Spur meets I-294.

(So, it's a bit of an insane thing to actually drive, but I think it provides a good understanding of how Chicago-area traffic works overall.)



As you can see, morning traffic peaks on Wednesday, and the afternoon traffic peaks on Friday. Weekends have less traffic, with both peaks "merging" at a point earlier in the afternoon.

Back on topic: I used to be able to reliably get on I-290 East at Saint Charles Road and make it to the I-294 ramps without sitting in traffic from say, 11:00 am to 2:00 pm. This has not been the case for about a year now. That slowdown now bridges the gap between the morning and afternoon rush on most weekdays, even Mondays.

Nice chart.  Kinda like an EKG of a really really sick person.
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Roadgeekteen

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Re: Is "rush hour" declining?
« Reply #15 on: October 24, 2017, 04:42:06 PM »

no no no no
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Truvelo

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Re: Is "rush hour" declining?
« Reply #16 on: October 24, 2017, 04:46:04 PM »

As others have already mentioned, rush hour isn't so much declining as traffic during other times is increasing. This makes traffic levels more constant throughout the day and makes the peaks less distinct. Weekends are also getting busier. As little as a decade ago you could drive into a large city on Sunday and not expect any delays. Now it's getting like any other day of the week. I feel this is partly due to flexible working hours but also those choosing to drive during the weekend because roads are quieter so when everyone else has the same idea it defeats the object.
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tradephoric

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Re: Is "rush hour" declining?
« Reply #17 on: October 24, 2017, 05:04:45 PM »

Here are 15 minute counts for a traffic signal along a NB/SB corridor (green line=SB; red line=NB).  In this case everybody is going SB during the AM rush and NB during the PM rush.  On the weekends traffic is just as heavy in the middle of the day but there are no rush hours. 



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Roadgeekteen

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Re: Is "rush hour" declining?
« Reply #18 on: October 24, 2017, 05:12:34 PM »

As others have already mentioned, rush hour isn't so much declining as traffic during other times is increasing. This makes traffic levels more constant throughout the day and makes the peaks less distinct. Weekends are also getting busier. As little as a decade ago you could drive into a large city on Sunday and not expect any delays. Now it's getting like any other day of the week. I feel this is partly due to flexible working hours but also those choosing to drive during the weekend because roads are quieter so when everyone else has the same idea it defeats the object.
Boston is known for this.
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SectorZ

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Re: Is "rush hour" declining?
« Reply #19 on: October 24, 2017, 06:40:11 PM »

As others have already mentioned, rush hour isn't so much declining as traffic during other times is increasing. This makes traffic levels more constant throughout the day and makes the peaks less distinct. Weekends are also getting busier. As little as a decade ago you could drive into a large city on Sunday and not expect any delays. Now it's getting like any other day of the week. I feel this is partly due to flexible working hours but also those choosing to drive during the weekend because roads are quieter so when everyone else has the same idea it defeats the object.
Boston is known for this.

And getting worse. I-93, from either direction, into Boston, is a complete shitshow most of Saturday and Sunday at this point. South of Boston it doesn't clear much at all during the week mid-day like it used to. 95/128 north of Boston is awful as well on weekend afternoons.
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bing101

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Re: Is "rush hour" declining?
« Reply #20 on: October 24, 2017, 09:32:14 PM »

In the greater Bay Area, rush hour is not only persisting, it's actually expanding; whereas four years ago you'd find some freeways (such as I-880) to be cleared out in both directions by about 9:30 a.m, with congestion building up again about 3 p.m. -- now you're lucky not to run into residual traffic as late as 10:30-11 a.m. -- and the afternoon equivalent seems to build up about 2:30 p.m. these days.  The latter has been a greater Los Angeles phenomenon for decades, as the larger warehouse/distribution/fulfillment centers invariably have a shift change at 2:30 p.m. (3 daily shifts for around-the-clock operation); while the Bay area doesn't feature the massive distribution facilities found in SoCal (although the Valley region centered around Stockton appears to be on its way toward this status), the trend of more and more firms toward employee "flex time" is likely contributing to the midday congestion increase.

In Solano County we are impacted by both Sacramento traffic and Bay Area Traffic on I-80 this is partially due to the fact that housing in Sacramento City Proper, and San Francisco proper are in short supply + expensive. Also housing in Solano County according to one of the articles is considered affordable by Sacramento and Bay Area standards this is why I-80 Solano county can sometimes be jammed in both directions in Fairfield, Vacaville and Vallejo. Yes Solano County is the Commuter county for both Sacramento Valley and Bay Area. Also Economic interests are at play for both Sacramento and Bay Area for housing and branch facilities and other stuff at play here.
https://solanoedc.org/data-center/city-and-county-profiles/county-profile/

http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/homeless/article180526446.html

http://www.businessinsider.com/san-francisco-home-sells-million-over-asking-2017-10
http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/09/22/bay-area-housing-theres-hardly-anything-on-the-market-yet-sales-rose-in-august-and-prices-kept-climbing/

http://www.timesheraldonline.com/article/NH/20170929/NEWS/170929728

« Last Edit: October 24, 2017, 09:38:38 PM by bing101 »
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tradephoric

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Re: Is "rush hour" declining?
« Reply #21 on: October 24, 2017, 10:17:21 PM »

Here is what traffic is like driving the main thoroughfare of Detroit on a Saturday afternoon.  It's quicker to take Woodward downtown than hopping on the freeway (at least until you hit the Davison).


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PHLBOS

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Re: Is "rush hour" declining?
« Reply #22 on: October 25, 2017, 09:36:46 AM »

As others have already mentioned, rush hour isn't so much declining as traffic during other times is increasing. This makes traffic levels more constant throughout the day and makes the peaks less distinct. Weekends are also getting busier. As little as a decade ago you could drive into a large city on Sunday and not expect any delays. Now it's getting like any other day of the week. I feel this is partly due to flexible working hours but also those choosing to drive during the weekend because roads are quieter so when everyone else has the same idea it defeats the object.
Boston is known for this.
Longer rush hours (& in both directions) has been a thing in the Greater Boston area for quite some time (at least 2 to 3 decades).

And getting worse. I-93, from either direction, into Boston, is a complete shitshow most of Saturday and Sunday at this point. South of Boston it doesn't clear much at all during the week mid-day like it used to. 95/128 north of Boston is awful as well on weekend afternoons.
Much of that can be blamed on increased development over the years/decades (which increases overall driving); even residential development (i.e. condos/townhomes constructed adjacent to the highways) which knows no peak period/schedule.
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jeffandnicole

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Re: Is "rush hour" declining?
« Reply #23 on: October 25, 2017, 09:50:18 AM »

As others have already mentioned, rush hour isn't so much declining as traffic during other times is increasing. This makes traffic levels more constant throughout the day and makes the peaks less distinct. Weekends are also getting busier. As little as a decade ago you could drive into a large city on Sunday and not expect any delays. Now it's getting like any other day of the week. I feel this is partly due to flexible working hours but also those choosing to drive during the weekend because roads are quieter so when everyone else has the same idea it defeats the object.

I blame this on the fact that there's so much to do anymore.  You have zillions of non profits (some of them somewhat questionable) that have events.  Tourism is way up as well.

And with this additional traffic, you have a lot of people that don't know where they're going.  They tend to drive slower, as they are looking for where they need to go.  At the particularly notorious 295/76/42 interchange near me, which is under construction, weekday traffic knows what's going on and they know what where they need to be. On weekends, people are much more slower: you can see them looking around hoping they're in the correct lane.  And the area bottlenecks up even though traffic volumes are probably half of what they are during the week.
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sparker

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Re: Is "rush hour" declining?
« Reply #24 on: October 25, 2017, 04:57:20 PM »

This very morning my earlier contention that the Bay Area rush hour had been expanding into midday was, at least anecdotally, confirmed.  I was trying to get to northern Santa Clara on CA 87 and then US 101 to pick something up from a vendor; when I got to the 101 NB onramp it, and the freeway all the way to the horizon, was at a standstill: at 11:15 a.m.!  And apparently whatever caused this backup wasn't an incident (at least according to the every-10-minute traffic report on KCBS radio) but simply congestion stretching all the way to Palo Alto!  Luckily, I was able to exit and take a parallel street to my destination.  Sometimes on previous trips over the same routing NB 101 was slow -- but this was the first time in a while that I'd seen it at a dead stop!  SB was slow but doable back down to 87 about a half-hour later on the return trip -- but NB was still completely backed up. 

And tomorrow I have to go to Alameda at about 7-8 a.m. -- certainly not looking forward to that little jaunt up I-880!
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