Chart of the Day – Twin Cities Freeway Congestion

2012 Metro Freeway Congestion. Source: Metro Freeway System 2012 Congestion Report

2012 Metro Freeway Congestion. Source: Metro Freeway System 2012 Congestion Report

MnDOT publishes an annual congestion report, showing congestion on freeways in the greater Twin Cities area. MnDOT defines congestion as segments where speeds are below 45 MPH.

N.B. The proximate supply-side cause of the congestion may be downstream bottlenecks, so this map is reflecting the effect, not necessarily the cause. The demand-side cause of the congestion is more vehicles than the supply can accommodate in a given time.

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9 Responses to Chart of the Day – Twin Cities Freeway Congestion

  1. Matt Steele
    Matt Steele March 4, 2014 at 9:36 am #

    Time for more dynamic pricing on metro freeways!

  2. Joseph Totten
    Joseph Totten March 4, 2014 at 9:38 am #

    Interesting that most congestion seems to be happening into downtown and on crosstowns/ring roads. Evening rush hour for people working in a downtown look like they would be a breeze

  3. Mike Foster March 4, 2014 at 9:54 am #

    Love this data! But those are ugly maps! Is this data public? Would be interesting to grab it and overlay it with other factors temporally.

  4. David Levinson
    David Levinson March 4, 2014 at 10:28 am #

    The data is public, see http://www.dot.state.mn.us/tmc/trafficinfo/developers.html

  5. Matt Steele
    Matt Steele March 4, 2014 at 11:16 am #

    A theory I’ve long had is that the addition of outside-the-beltway freeways like 169 (south), 212, 610, 101 (north), and the new 36 bridge actually compound this problem. Those freeways entice people to live further out, and their outside-the-beltway trip times are great (except for crossing the MN river). But it brings more users into the already-congested urban freeways inside the beltway.

    So, in essence, new exurban freeways can actually make trip times and congestion worse for urban and close-in suburban commuters where a majority (or all) of their freeway miles are within the beltway.

  6. Alex March 4, 2014 at 2:55 pm #

    Funny, because on Friday Brendan posted the equivalent map of Twin Cities transit routes that are 7 hours a day:

    http://3kpnuxym9k04c8ilz2quku1czd.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/WkdyRidership09.jpg

    So cry me a freakin river MnDot.

    • Alex March 4, 2014 at 5:15 pm #

      Er, that attempt at smarm was foiled by omission. It should read “map of Twin Cities transit routes that are 7 hours a day”

      MnDot can still cry me a river.

      • Alex March 4, 2014 at 5:19 pm #

        Ugh, and smarm is definitely not the word I should have used. Where’s that guy who encourages everyone to ignore the comments section?

  7. Bill Lindeke
    Bill Lindeke March 5, 2014 at 9:06 am #

    Please ignore the comments section.

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