Unfortunately, it’s not just your imagination — Houston, Texas, traffic is getting worse.
A 2016 study by TomTom, the company responsible for navigation and mapping technology, ranked Houston as the nation’s 11th worst when it comes to traffic congestion. Worldwide, Houston barely breaks the top 100 at spot no. 93, trailing extremely overcrowded cities like Istanbul, Bangkok, Mexico City and even Los Angeles, which is the only American city to crack the top 30.
Despite this relatively low ranking, Houston commuters can only expect their drives to get worse, according to TomTom’s research. Previous reports filed between 2008 and 2011 showed congestion staying relatively the same — during that time, congestion only added between 17 and 19 percent more time to commuters’ trips. Between 2014 and 2015, though, there was a notable rise in the amount of time added by congestion: it grew from a 20 percent increase to a 25 percent increase in just one calendar year.
Of course, state and local officials have done their best to try and improve congestion by adding more streets and even a light rail option for commuters tired of the road; however, neither addition has seemed to improve traffic.
Instead, both highways and local roads have become more crowded. Highway commuters can expect a 23 percent increase in travel time — meaning a 20-minute ride clocks in at 24.6 minutes — while those who take local roads see a 27-percent increase. This undoubtedly contributes to the 34 extra minutes that Houston drivers can expect to add to their round-trip commutes each day, just because of congestion.
And, although the morning commute will certainly stall drivers, the worst time to drive is between 5 and 6 p.m., when most of Houston’s work force hits the road to get home. During this time, congestion is at its worst: you can expect a 60 percent increase in your travel time during this window.
Obviously, with more cars on the road — and more frustrated drivers behind the wheel — Houstonians will likely experience more fender-benders and accidents as congestion increases. If you find yourself in need of legal counsel or representation after a road-related incident, don’t hesitate in contacting the team at Mario Madrid Law Firm. Their experience in navigating the Texas criminal justice system will only make the process easier and less stressful for you and have you back on the Houston roads in no time.