: How's the traffic where you live?



Jesda
02-07-11, 07:25 AM
I was reading this:
http://nextstl.com/transportation/less-congestion-more-sprawl-a-lot-more-time-in-the-car-in-st-louis/

St Louis one of the least-congested cities in the country, but we're still bottom ranked for commute times. The explanation seems to be that while our highways are well-maintained and have excellent coverage through most areas, it causes people to live further from work.

The counter to that is the growing number employers moving to the suburbs to be closer to more educated people (labor pool) and to save money, which for many has resulted in shorter commutes. Of course, those who remain in the city end up driving further than they used to.

I live in the burbs and once a week I drive downtown where the warehouse is located. Why? Because the shitty North St Louis neighborhood means warehousing is dirt cheap. There's also a risk of my car getting stolen.

Some folks (environmentalists, urban renewalists, well-to-do hipsters rebelling against their parents by moving into gentrified urban condos with parental money) are advocating fuel tax hikes and reduced highway development, which sound like great ways to choke the regional economy. It get the feeling they won't be happy until we're all living in shoeboxes and eating celery.

Its a real problem -- a less dense population is supporting the development of more infrastructure which means tax dollars are less efficiently spent. But the there has to be a better solution than jacking up everyone's cost of living and taxing peaceful, comfortable lifestyles out of existence.



The long-winded version of the above, with charts and graphics:
http://jesda.com/2011/02/07/less-congestion-longer-commutes/

Jesda
02-07-11, 07:49 AM
To answer my own question, its about 30 minutes to the city once a week to get to the warehouse. I closed my office which was 20 minutes away and now work from home. As a consequence of feeling stuck in the house, I like to put the top down and go for leisure drives at night. So, I guess its a wash, but at least I'm driving for pleasure rather than necessity.

77CDV
02-07-11, 03:35 PM
Traffic here in suburbia is about what you'd expect. Mostly nonexistant, except from about 6-9 in the morning and 5-7 in the evening. Sort of like watching the tide go in and out.

orconn
02-07-11, 04:32 PM
In the Richmond area they think its' a traffic calamity if you have to wait through a traffic light cycle to make a left hand turn. It's possible to drive anywhere in the city and suburbs in 30 minutes .... even at what passes as rush hour. By and large drivers are fairly civil, unlike Northern Virginia where rudeness is the norm. I may complain about the food, but I won't complain about the traffic!

EChas3
02-08-11, 12:08 AM
I live 30 minutes north of Milwaukee. A normal rush hour adds maybe ten minutes to a commute but I like living closer to work. If I worked in the city, I'd move.

So like 77CDV, I'm in suburbia bur work here, too. My traffic problems are the people that drive 10 mph under the limit. You know, I get the old men in hats & blue-haired women you can't see in the drivers seat. About the time you're convinced they left the turn signal on, they turn... the other way.

It starts to drive a guy crazy when the other drivers don't take their 'turn' at a 4-way stop. They think they are being 'nice' and wave you on, but it gets old.

I can offer two 2 Wisconsin rules of the road:

Slow traffic - keep left on the freeway
Stop sign - keep rolling until someone waves

Aron9000
02-08-11, 01:51 AM
Depends on where you live in Nashville. If you live in Murfreesboro, Smyrna, LaVergne, Antioch, basically anywhere along the I-24 corridor on the southeast side of town, godspeed to you. There are probably 200,000 people every day that commute on that 30 mile section of road. Its about a 40 minute ride from Murfreesboro to downtown(about 30 miles) in non-rush hour, more like 1.5 hours during rush hour provided there are no wrecks. The other suburbs like Franklin and Brentwood are pretty easy, usually you live 15-25 miles out, and your commute is 20-45 minutes depending on where you live.

If you live close in town, it really isn't that bad, except around the Green Hills mall. That's a very affluent part of town you couldn't pay me to move to because of the traffic choke point around that mall. Honestly its like 5 miles from Green Hills to my work. I live by the airport, about 10 miles from work. My commute time of 15 minutes would double or triple if I lived near that zoo.

Of course everybody lives in the suburban counties because the Metro Nashville schools suck, so there is a TON of commuting to downtown.

Stingroo
02-08-11, 01:58 AM
Jacksonville... Jesus H. Christ where to begin. People here honestly suck at life, and at driving. Case in point, check this thing I saw ON THE ROAD yesterday. Not only that, but it PASSED me. I speed. I'll admit that. I freely speed, but if you're passing me, you're a crazy motherf*cker.

http://a8.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/hs253.snc6/180189_1867123324447_1431987960_2207471_6668636_n. jpg

It's been raining here for a few days, and in my limited driving that I do (I put about 60-70 miles a week on the wagon, everything else is on campus honestly) I've seen four accidents. Two were idiots in RWD cars that spun themselves out on slick pavement (one was RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME). One was a moron who ran a stop sign so blatantly it was as if it wasn't ever there, and he hit another car at about 40mph, and the last one was a guy who cut another guy off and got clipped and spun. I swear, it was straight out of NASCAR.

Jacksonville is dangerous, and these people are downright stupid. Add to that there are over a million people here, and you can see that traffic is either really REALLY fast, or really REALLY slow.

RightTurn
02-08-11, 02:04 AM
Frackin' gridlock. I get road rage in my driveway. Welcome to hell. :coffee: Anymore questions re: Houston traffic? :gungrin:

thebigjimsho
02-09-11, 12:12 AM
Boston has a lot of traffic. However, while we don't have a lot of Interstates and the ones we have aren't very large, there are plenty of alternate routes. And it's easy to get around during non-commute hours so it's not claustrophobic like L.A. or NYC...

orconn
02-09-11, 12:32 AM
Boston has a lot of traffic. However, while we don't have a lot of Interstates and the ones we have aren't very large, there are plenty of alternate routes. And it's easy to get around during non-commute hours so it's not claustrophobic like L.A. or NYC...

In L.A. we leave the claustrophobia and freeway madness to the newcomers and geographically unsophisticated. L.A. also has a great assortment of broad, relatively, uncontested surface streets by which to circumvent the standstill on the freeways at rush hour. Thank goodness, for those of us with lengthy and wide knowledge of the region (L.A. is not really a city but rather a region) have easy access to the even most travelled parts of th area even during high traffic times.

ben.gators
02-09-11, 02:52 AM
The traffic is very light in Tempe, Mesa, and Scottsdale. During rush hours it can be a bit crowded, but no congestion and the traffic moves. I have a 10 mile commute between home and school, 5 miles highway and 5 miles city, and I drive this 10 miles in about 12-14 minutes. And my main complains are about:
1- the people that set the cruise control at speed limit or even less and drive at the left lane and there is no way they move to the right lanes!
2- the people that drive at the left lane in the street, but all at once they brake and after stopping and also causing all the cars behind themselves to brake suddenly and stop, then they turn left to the designated middle lane for left turn!

Jesda
02-09-11, 03:02 AM
In L.A. we leave the claustrophobia and freeway madness to the newcomers and geographically unsophisticated. L.A. also has a great assortment of broad, relatively, uncontested surface streets by which to circumvent the standstill on the freeways at rush hour. Thank goodness, for those of us with lengthy and wide knowledge of the region (L.A. is not really a city but rather a region) have easy access to the even most travelled parts of th area even during high traffic times.

Over 5 hours in gridlock. 2006. I'll never forget :(

drewsdeville
02-09-11, 10:48 AM
Jacksonville... Jesus H. Christ where to begin. People here honestly suck at life, and at driving...

I swear, it was straight out of NASCAR.

Jacksonville is dangerous, and these people are downright stupid.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UDHToD3NmmA

Stingroo
02-09-11, 10:52 AM
Ehhh.... that was kinda lame.


I still maintain though - Jacksonville sucks.

ga_etc
02-09-11, 08:37 PM
I don't have to tell you this, because you've been here, but Dalton traffic sucks. It's not the quantity of cars, just the idiots behind the wheel. No one knows what a turn signal is or the difference between the fast and slow lanes. Apparently everyone in town is a stubborn jackass that refuses to GTFO out of the way. (Yes, that even includes me from time to time. Most of the time I'm the one full-throttling past said jackasses once I get the room to do so.)

gary88
02-09-11, 09:05 PM
Take a wild guess.

ben.gators
02-09-11, 10:57 PM
^
OK, here it is:
You are going to trade in your BMW for a station wagon?

MauiV
02-10-11, 12:16 AM
I live 23 miles from work, 2 counties away. The first 9 miles of my commute is on 2 lane state highway which has some places with passing possible as long as rush hour to or from Louisville isnt headed your way. From there it's I-65 3-5 lanes wide with 1,267,935 18 wheelers at any given time. The only God send is that trucks are restricted to the right 2 lanes here like they should be EVERYWHERE. I dont hit a stop light until my exit and its only 1 mile to work from there on a 5 lane surface street (UPS air hub and Ford plant are also on this street).

Most the people that live where I do work in Louisville/Lexington/Elizabethtown or here at one of the auto parts providers, American Greetings or one of the numerous Bourbon Distiller. The commuters live here for acerage for horses or cheaper housing. Plenty of 5-10 acre spots up to several thousand acres. I live here beacause I moved back after my moms husband passed away and this got me close.

Work is on the south side of town so so I dont have to actually get into town. Coworkers that live in the East End or Indiana have 30-60 minute commutes and you can almost GUARANTEE a wreck on I65 at Hospital Curve, at the I65-I71-I64 intersection known as Spagetti Junction and on I71 there are 18 wheelers flipping every day.

Maui traffic was the worst. 2 lane winding roads on the side of ancient volcanos with drop offs to the ocean clogged with tourists trying to watch whales do not make for a fast commute ANYWHERE and I have lived in Houston. I actually miss Houston traffic where if you arent running 90 you're getting run over.

Playdrv4me
02-10-11, 04:20 AM
San Antonio: Packed at rush-hour(s), but it's organized and in general it keeps moving. There are LOTS of big fat arteries in this town and in Texas cities in general. I believe SA has actually made the country's list of worst places for traffic a few times before curiously enough.

Tampa: Full of NY and NJ transplants, co-mingled with heaven's waiting room. You can't drive 5 miles in that town without seeing an accident.

Wichita: Traffic in Wichita is waiting 5 minutes for a train to cross.

Aron9000
02-10-11, 04:33 AM
God help you if you had to commute home around 4:00-6:00pm today. Snow was bad, got around 2" here. It was so cold though that it immediatly stuck to the roads, and started coming down hard right in the middle of that commute time.

I was off work thank god, but my next door neighbor said it took 4 hours to get from Cool Springs to Donelson(that's an easy 20-30 minute drive normally).

I was kind of a dick and took off in my pos 2wd toyota truck loaded down with 100lbs of sand in the back around 7:00pm. Drove up the steepest hill in my neighborhood at 20mph, passed several people walking who left their cars at the bottom of the hill, passed the dually Chevy towing a car up the hill, made it to the top no problem. Did a nice 180 degree slide sideways at the top, then went down the hill, slid the truck around again, and drove up it again just for shits and giggles. I swear people around here have absolutely no concept on how to drive in the snow.

SDCaddyLacky
02-10-11, 06:30 AM
Here in San Diego, it's really weird, some days rush hour is such a pain in the ass, especially if you live in the very southern or northern part of the city and county, other days it can be tolerable.

The problem with San Diego, is everyone works in the same general area, people commute sometimes as far as an hour away to work, so traffic on certain freeways is terrible, like the I-5 and I-15, 805 is insane at 4-5 PM! luckily we have a lot of freeways and things continue to expand, plus we have a light rail system that helps out people living in the city, and inner suburbs. California drivers are pretty experienced, and hard nosed, so you don't see a bunch of accidents everyday off the freeways like you do in other states.

But still, traffic is bad during rush hour, people that live close to the border near Tijuana have it the worst, because the constant cross border travel, people from Mexico crowd up our freeways. You see a ton of Mexico plates everywhere out here, it's pretty much a normal sight to see. TJ/ San Diego border is the busiest border in the world, with 3.3 million people living in San Diego and 2 million people living in TJ, you can imagine how crowded it can be.

Jesda
02-10-11, 09:27 AM
Jacksonville... Jesus H. Christ where to begin. People here honestly suck at life, and at driving. Case in point, check this thing I saw ON THE ROAD yesterday. Not only that, but it PASSED me. I speed. I'll admit that. I freely speed, but if you're passing me, you're a crazy motherf*cker.

http://a8.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/hs253.snc6/180189_1867123324447_1431987960_2207471_6668636_n. jpg


I'm trying to imagine what the tire wear pattern must look like on a car with a bent frame.

drewsdeville
02-10-11, 10:29 AM
God help you if you had to commute home around 4:00-6:00pm today. Snow was bad, got around 2" here. It was so cold though that it immediatly stuck to the roads, and started coming down hard right in the middle of that commute time.


Oh s***, 2"? SNOWMAGEDDON! :P

drewsdeville
02-10-11, 10:30 AM
I'm trying to imagine what the tire wear pattern must look like on a car with a bent frame.

Probably not bad if he got an alignment afterwards and frequent rotation. :P Might dogtrack a little, but should be good for another 100,000 easy.

gdwriter
02-10-11, 05:22 PM
When I first moved to Phoenix in 1988, the area was playing catch-up on freeway construction There were only three: 1-10 heading into the Valley from the west ended at Dysart Rd., which at the time was the far outskirts, and east of the Superstition Freeway (U.S. 60), it was only two lanes in each direction. The Superstition was only two lanes in each direction past Country Club Drive in what was then central Mesa, and it ended at Power Road (which was then the edge of Mesa, but is now more like the geographic center). I-17 ran from near downtown up through the west side toward Flagstaff, three lanes in each direction up to around Cactus Rd., then just two. It was ridiculously inadequate, and traffic was awful. Since there were hardly any freeways, the surface streets were badly clogged as well. It was not uncommon to slog through two-three light cycles to get through an intersection, especially if you were turning left.

For most of my time there (1988-2003), I had roughly a 20-25-mile commute to work. As more freeways got built and lanes added to existing ones, my commute dropped from over an hour to 35-45 minutes. The Valley's freeway system is finally complete, although a planned crosstown freeway near the Camelback Corridor — which I think was badly needed — got canceled. It's much easier to get around than it was 23 years ago.

I now have a 23-commute, ~15 miles of which are on a rural, two-lane state highway. It's posted for 55, but I generally set the cruise at 64 MPH unless I get stuck behind some poker (on average, Oregonians are not leadfoots). Opportunities to pass are limited, either by traffic or geography, and the last five miles or so into Corvallis, there are none. I've found I have more opportunities to pass during my morning commute than in the evening. Some nights, I'm stuck plodding along at 55 or not much more then entire way.

Unfortunately, Oregon has not kept up with its infrastructure needs. To leave Corvallis heading east toward I-5, you have to cross an ancient one-lane bridge, and the backup often extends for several blocks in the evenings. Because of my work location, I can take a different river crossing that skirts the south side of town and ends up on the other side of the one-lane bridge. But that intersection is also frequently backed up a good deal as well.

Most of the freeways in Portland are just three lanes in each direction and two lanes in others, including a stretch of I-5 from downtown to the Columbia River and Vancouver, WA. It's usually a parking lot during rush hour. My girlfriend lives close to I-84 about five miles east of downtown, and even on weekends, I've gotten caught in a traffic jam as far back as the Marquam Bridge on I-5 just south of downtown. Oddly enough, when I drove up there last Friday after work, I encountered no backups despite arriving on the southern edge of the Portland metro area around 6:30 p.m.

I'm glad I don't have to deal with heavy traffic on a day-to-day basis, and I don't mind the 30-35 minute commute each way. It would be nice to live in Corvallis and have virtually no commute, but housing prices here are ridiculous. I'd have to pay $50,000 to $75,000 more than what my house is appraised for, and it would likely be something ugly from the 60s or 70s (my house was built in 2003).

jacobsillman
02-15-11, 11:48 AM
Traffic out in Boston is really terrible.

billc83
02-15-11, 12:18 PM
Seattle, and more specifically, the suburbs - traffic seems OK more of the time.

Rush hour will mean gridlock on the major highways:

I-5 will back up through Seattle city limits.
520 will back up along the bridge across Lake Washington to get to/from Seattle. There's only two lanes each direction, but there's talks of widening it and adding tolls. On the other end, 520 will back up at the exit I would take in the evening.
I-90, the other bridge across Lake Washington (and will plop you right in downtown Seattle), is usually much less congested.
405, which intersects many of the suburbs, backs up like clockwork each day at the North End and South (the dreaded Renton S-curves!).
Finally, 167 (a smaller highway to the South that intersects 405) is a horrible experience during the afternoon.

I am lucky enough that I work close to home and thus avoid all traffic. However, for about three months last year I had to cover down in Renton, which was a ~50 mile round trip. I started early enough that traffic was not a problem, but would avoid 405 on the trip back, as traffic would just be building up. Going home, I would almost exclusively use the back roads unless I had to do something after work.

Leisurely, I tend to avoid driving during rush-hour conditions.

thebigjimsho
02-15-11, 01:15 PM
Traffic out in Boston is really terrible.
meh.

astatemade
03-19-11, 03:34 PM
I cant complain