Report: Nashville's traffic congestion 32nd worst in nation

Tuesday, May 29, 2012 at 4:36pm

Nashville’s traffic congestion is the 32nd worst in the United States, according to a new scorecard released Tuesday by the traffic research firm INRIX.

On average, drivers in Nashville spent 15.3 hours in traffic from April 2011 to April 2012, the company’s fifth annual report states.

Still, the study suggests vehicular traffic across the world actually dropped by 30 percent over the past year, a reduction the firm called a “startling” side effect of a struggling economy.

“The declines in traffic congestion across the U.S. and Europe are indicative of stalled economies worldwide,” said Bryan Mistele, INRIX president and CEO. “In America, the economic recovery on Wall Street has not arrived on Main Street. Americans are driving less and spending less fueled by gas prices and a largely jobless recovery.”

The nation’s five worst cities in terms of traffic are Honolulu, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York and Bridgeport, Conn.

Atlanta ranks 15th; Dallas, 20th; Charlotte, 25th; Denver, 26th; New Orleans, 38th; Indianapolis, 41st; Chattanooga, 49th; Knoxville, 50th; and Memphis, 59th.

The most congested corridor in Nashville, according to the report, is Interstate-440 between West End Avenue and Franklin Road. INRIX lists the I-440 stretch as its 88th most congested corridor in the nation. The company ranked the same stretch the 90th most congested in the county the year before.

INRIX claims to analyze information for more than 300,000 miles of roads in the U.S. and 250,000 kilometers in Europe during every hour of the day to “generate the most comprehensive and timely congestion analyses available.”

“The Scorecard is based on analysis of billions of raw data points from INRIX’s own historical traffic database of approximately 100 million vehicles traveling the roads everyday including taxis, airport shuttles, service delivery vans, long-haul trucks and passenger cars,” the company states. “Each data report from these GPS-equipped vehicles and devices includes the speed, location and heading of a particular vehicle at a reported date and time.”

8 Comments on this post:

By: MusicCity615 on 5/29/12 at 4:13

This is another reason why Nashville needs to invest in mass transit of all forms NOW. More buses, LRT/Streetcar, commuter rail, High Speed Rail. We have to get off our dependancy of cars.

The East/West Connector is a good start, but we need ALL forms of mass transit connecting ALL of Nashville.

By: JayBee56 on 5/29/12 at 8:51

No surprise here for people who sit in traffic every day. Too much time is wasted waiting for lights that do not respond to congestion. Not sure we should pursue mass transit until we invest in updating our traffic signals to a smart grid that adjusts for traffic flow, time of day, etc. Failure to at least explore this avenue means we continue to have more pollution and gridlock, as well as wasting productive work time. What has the mayor been doing about this other than putting all his eggs in the one basket of mass transit?

By: i.am.a.taxpayer on 5/30/12 at 6:59

Every day, we waste time and fuel, both which are in limited supply. One quick way improve that is for employers to use more flexible work hours for employees.

By: JeffF on 5/30/12 at 9:13

Don't see an 32 ranking (a somewhat arbitrary ranking to begin with) as a justification for tens of millions of rail projects with no flexibility and high operating costs. Obviously there are a lot of cities with the rails of angels operating in their borders that are in front of us that will attest that rail systems have fixed NOTHING.

So instead of choosing a system that makes the rail/trolley/streetcar fanboys and fangirls hearts go pitter patter, choose a system that works with current infrastructure rather than requiring all new and expensive infrastructure be installed parallel. Buses are the only economically viable and logical modal in most of the country AND Nashville.

Public transportation is too important to waste resources on rail projects designed to give their advocates jobs (ahem Music city Star).

By: JeffF on 5/30/12 at 9:14

I expect we will be seeing the monorail hucksters here any minute now.

By: BigPapa on 5/30/12 at 9:38

Mass transit will never work in Nashville because of these four words:

People Love Their Cars

By: gm0168 on 5/30/12 at 12:36

You will notice that of the 4 cities in TN, Nashville ranks the worst. No surprise, Nashville by far has the WORST infrastructure of any of them. Not sure who was responsible for the layout of this city, but they need to be horse whipped. I-440 is a horrible excuse for a "loop". If you check out 240 in Memphis, 465 in Indy, 459 in Birmingham, these are true loops where you can bypass most of the in-town traffic. We are just not blessed with infrastructure visionaries here.

By: BigPapa on 5/30/12 at 1:16

We seem to like building loops around the city so you can by-pass traffic, then we immediately start tossing red lights and business onto those same by-passes thereby defeating their entire purpose.