Good news about Chicago traffic and congestion – but due to new criteria

A new report from a group named CEOs for Cities claims that Chicagoans spend the least amount of time in rush-hour traffic compared to other major cities:

The report’s ranking of mobility in 51 cities found that Chicago-area residents spend the least time in rush-hour travel. In Chicago and some of the other best-performing cities — including New Orleans, New York, Portland, Ore., and Sacramento, Calif. — commuters typically spend 40 fewer hours a year in peak-hour travel than the average American, the report said.

In metro areas with the worst urban sprawl — including Nashville, Detroit, Indianapolis and Raleigh, N.C. — residents spend as much as 240 hours per year in rush-period travel on average because commuting distances are much longer, said the report, which was produced with the support of the Rockefeller Foundation.

This seems to be contrary to other studies I’ve seen that suggest Chicago is quite congested. One reason this study might have different results is a new criteria in the methodology.

The report’s author criticized other mobility studies that focus on the amount of traffic congestion in a region without factoring in travel distance.

The Urban Mobility Report, issued every two years by the Texas Transportation Institute, is regarded by many experts as the authoritative voice on traffic congestion issues. The report consistently ranks the Chicago region as the second or third most-congested area of the nation. It does not account for travel distance.

I am left wondering whether travel distance an important factor to include…

The Infrastructurist comments on the disparities in the two sets of rankings.

0 thoughts on “Good news about Chicago traffic and congestion – but due to new criteria

  1. Pingback: Seeing traffic and congestion as a sign of success | Legally Sociable

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