MnDOT report: Traffic congestion increases on metro freeways

The Twin Cities freeway system saw a slight increase in traffic congestion from 2014 to 2015, according to the latest MnDOT Metropolitan Freeway System Congestion Report.

The report states the percentage of congested miles in the freeway system went up from 21.1 percent in 2014 to 23.4 percent in 2015.

The Regional Transportation Management Center (RMTC) evaluates 758 miles of the metro freeway system to create a percentage that combines a.m. and p.m. traffic. The RMTC tracks the percentage of miles where vehicles travel less than 45 mph. Officials measured traffic congestion through field observations and surveillance detectors in roadways. The testing is completed in the month of October as commuter flows are back to normal with school back in session and construction projects are mostly completed.

In regard to the report Metropolitan Council Chair Adam Duininck released the following statement:

“It’s no surprise to see congestion on our highways is increasing. We know our region is growing. By 2040, we’re expecting an additional 750,000 people to live in the region. It’s not practical to build more highways – without an expansion of our regional transit system, our roadways will only continue to get more congested. This means more time workers spend getting to and from work; more time transporting goods across the region; more fuel costs for cars and trucks.

It’s time to get serious about building out our regional transit network. To keep up with the growing region and demand for public transit, we need to continue investing in improved bus and light rail transit. It’s not a coincidence that the areas that see the most traffic congestion are the areas where we’ve focused our future transit resources. A thriving region relies on keeping people moving quickly and easily across the region.”