View Full Version : Does traffic in your area get far worse in the warmer months?

Brian Elfert
05-15-2012, 9:11 PM
The warm weather is now here in the Minneapolis area and the traffic has gotten so bad in the afternoons that I'm seriously considering going to work 30 minutes to an hour earlier just to avoid traffic. This winter we had little snow and the traffic was relatively light in the afternoons. We have signs that show the travel time to the next major interchange. The lowest time I've ever seen was 8 minutes during the middle of the day. The travel time this winter was usually around 10 minutes between 3 pm and 4 pm. Now days I'm lucky to see 10 minutes even at 3 pm. Today I left at 3:30 pm and the travel time was up to 18 minutes already! It is road construction season, but no projects along my route.

Do other areas see a huge increase in traffic in the warmer parts of the year this bad? I don't know if folks are leaving earlier because of the nicer weather or what. My morning commutes are about the same.

Matt Meiser
05-15-2012, 9:46 PM
Takes me about the same time to walk through the living room to my office pretty much every day! I do take a detour to the kitchen on the way to make coffee which adds considerable time to my commute though.

Rick Potter
05-16-2012, 2:40 AM

We have more traffic in the winter when all those people from up north visit.

Seriously, traffic in the LA area has always been tough. My suburb is 35 or so miles from LA, and I just read that there are 500,000 people within 5 miles of me. The secret here is to arrange your life so that you are going the opposite way of the morning and afternoon traffic. I had to commute to LA for work for a while and had a 90 minute commute each way, in 1980. People managing to drive away from LA in the morning and to LA in the evening have it easier in general.

About that Virginia traffic. Just came back from there. The traffic from the Newport airport to the Williamsburg area makes LA look good.

Rick Potter

Matt Marsh
05-16-2012, 3:44 AM
Yeah I do notice an increase in the number of cars on the highway on my 25 mile commute from the Lake George area to Bemidji every morning. Yesterday I bet I met 6 cars!

Seriously, the traffic does increase in this area during the summer months, but nothing even close to what you have in the twin cities area. It was bad when I lived there in the late 70s, early 80s, and its gotten much worse since then! We lived in Lakeville, and one summer I did a job in Roseville. Cedar Avenue was under construction, so 35W was the only option. Some days it was a 2-hour commute!

These days I see more critters on the road than cars.

Keith Starosta
05-16-2012, 6:30 AM
Oh my GOD, yes!! Southbound traffic on Interstate 95, starting mid-afternoon Thursday through Saturday evening is horrid. I dare anyone to try and get from Baltimore to Fredericksburg, VA, in less than 5 hours during those times....

Joe Pelonio
05-16-2012, 7:53 AM
Our traffic is always worse in the afternoon than the morning, and more so when the weather is nice. It's just the commute
traffic with additional people going out to do things in the afternoon/evening, including retirees and students old enough to drive
that are not in the morning commute.

Mike Henderson
05-16-2012, 12:43 PM
I notice that you're located in Minneapolis. Someone who lives in Minneapolis once told me what the four seasons are in Minnesota:

1. Almost Winter
2. Winter
3. Still winter, and
4. Construction


Belinda Williamson
05-16-2012, 2:28 PM
Yep. Beach town and on the I-95 corridor. I have to be at work at 6:30 though, so it isn't bad for me during the week.

Moses Yoder
05-16-2012, 3:14 PM
I work in Shipshewana, IN, which is not on most maps. There is a 4 way stop in the middle of town, and from May to I think October we have the largest flea market within a very large radius. I think it is over 100 acres. On a good fleamarket day traffic is lined up from the 4 way stop north 3 miles to where the fleas come in from the west (Chicago) and from the east (Detroit).

Oh, wait, you're complaining about an 18 minute commute! Nevermind!

Brian Elfert
05-16-2012, 3:35 PM
Oh, wait, you're complaining about an 18 minute commute! Nevermind!

18 minutes is just one portion of my commute. I just hate sitting in stop and go traffic no matter what. Minneapolis may become the most congested city in the nation over the next 20 years. The state will be doing almost zero highway expansions due to lack of money. We don't have enough money to even keep up on basic road repairs.

I live 13 miles from work and on the weekend or evenings I can make it to work in 15 to 20 minutes. In the mornings it takes 20 to 25 minutes. During the winter it was taking 20 to 30 minutes in the afternoon unless it snowed. Right now it is taking me 30 to 45 minutes to get home in the afternoon and I leave well before the peak of rush hour.

Steve Meliza
05-16-2012, 3:46 PM
I would say it tends to be better in the summer for me. In the winter a 1" snowfall can double your commute time, more then that and you'll be lucky to get home in time for bed. Every time it rains (which is every day in the winter) all of the displaced Californians form 45 MPH rolling roadblocks that you can't get past. All of December people are making extra trips to buy gifts and all of January the recipients are returning them, this extra running around can take a 20 minute commute to 30 or 35 minutes. Then just as you get up to speed the school bus stops to pick up or drop off kids or you enter a school zone and have to go 20 MPH.

The only problem with summer driving is at Sunset and Sunrise when people are so shocked to see sunlight that they slam on their brakes and cautiously navigate towards the nearest shade. We don't have LA traffic, but it helps a lot to be headed away from the city in the morning and towards it at night,

Pat Barry
05-16-2012, 9:09 PM
Mike is correct. Non-winter means road construction. Try taking 35 North to Duluth some time