COVID-19 and traffic

Here is how dramatically the COVID-19 crisis has affected Houston's traffic

Here is how dramatically COVID-19 has affected Houston's traffic

houston traffic highway
Houston traffic has understandably changed significantly since the COVID-19 outbreak.  Photo by DenisTangneyJr/Getty Images

With Houston under a mandatory stay-home/work-safe order until at least April 30, it's no surprise that the city is experiencing lighter traffic. But just how significant is the change?

CultureMap news partner ABC13 collected data from Houston Transtar and compared traffic before and during the pandemic.

For the study, Houston Transtar measured the number of cars using a radar site at I-10/Katy Freeway and Voss, and compared to this time last year, the number of cars passing through this location in a 24-hour period is down approximately 50 percent.

Looking at single-day data, on March 25, 2019 there were 108,881 cars on the road in a 24-hour period.

In stark comparison: on March 25, 2020, there were only 39,022.

During the peak morning rush hours of 6 am to 9 am, traffic volume dropped 39 percent, and in the heaviest evening rush hours of 4 pm to 7 pm, it's down 47 percent.

Transtar also looked at speed data on our freeways. And no surprise, fewer cars mean faster speeds.

On I-45 North, measurements show the average inbound speeds at about 64 miles per hour, which was an increase of 121 percent. The inbound speed on the Gulf Freeway increased by 77 percent and on the Southwest Freeway, the increase was 105 percent.

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This article originally appeared on ABC13

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