DC Saw One of the Largest Drops in Traffic Congestion Amid Pandemic: Study

Washington, D.C., traffic was down 77% from 2019

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The pandemic’s impact on traffic has the Washington, D.C., area topping a new study on congestion — and this time, it’s not bad news for commuters.

D.C. saw one of the largest decreases in congestion globally last year. It was down 77% from 2019, according to a new study from transportation researcher INRIX.

Commuters still lost 29 hours to traffic congestion on average, compared to 100 hours in the most congested city: New York, INRIX says. Sitting in all that traffic comes with a price tag that amounts to over $400 for Washingtonians.

Before the pandemic, D.C.’s population would swell by about 79%, up to more than 1 million people, during the workday, studies have found.

But when the pandemic hit, officials urged government and office workers to started working from home. Downtown streets were eerily empty, even at rush hour, for months.

On average, traffic delays fell nearly 50% in major cities during the pandemic.

Downtown trips were the hardest hit, plummeting 60% in D.C. They are projected to be the last to recover.

Tune in to News4 starting at 4 p.m. Tuesday: Transportation reporter Adam Tuss will have more on this study

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