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Everything You Need to Know About Denver Traffic

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Everything You Need to Know About Denver Traffic

Traffic. It’s not something you would normally think about when relocating, unless you’re moving to a city with a reputation that precedes it like Chicago or L.A. Denver traffic isn’t nearly as bad as Chicago’s or L.A.’s, but as Denver continues to grow, so does our traffic.

Thinking of making the move to the Mile High City, but wondering what Denver traffic is like?

Let’s go for a spin.

Denver Traffic

Denver Traffic isn’t bad if you’re coming from cities known for notoriously bad congestion, like L.A., NYC, San Francisco, or Chicago.

On the other hand, if you’re coming from somewhere like Des Moines, Milwaukee, or Raleigh, you might think our traffic is horrendous. As a native, I can tell you that with the influx of people to colorful Colorado, I am definitely spending more time on the road than I was 10 years ago. As a well traveled person, I can also tell you it could be much, much worse. But, don’t just take my word for it.

Inrix, a company that focuses on transportation analytics, recently released their Global Traffic Scorecard that examines the traffic patterns of cities around the world.

According to their study, Denver traffic ranked 21st in the U.S. and 107th in the world (up from 124th in 2015) for traffic congestion.

Great, so what does that mean? On average, Denver drivers spent 36 hours in traffic in 2016, which stayed about the same from the previous year. Compare that to Los Angeles, which took the top spot in the world with drivers spending 104 hours in congestion on average!

Denver Traffic

Chicago ranked 9th in the United States and 19th in the world.

Moving from Chicago, Denver traffic isn’t going to phase you. If you’ve spent any time on the Dan Ryan or Eisenhower, Denver traffic will feel tame by comparison. And unlike in Chicago, you’re going to have the beautiful continental divide to enjoy along with all those break lights.

You can get more detailed information directly from the Inrix study.

As with any large city, there are going to be certain areas of the city that are worse than others and certain times of the day that are particularly bad.

Interstate 25 and Interstate 225 tends to be the worst during the morning and evening rush hours, though I-25 can be bad anytime. 25 is the main north-south corridor connecting Jefferson County and Denver County to Tech Center, Castle Rock, and Colorado Springs. It’s always busy, and getting worse every year.

Denver Traffic

Image Courtesy of www.9news.com

Fridays and Sundays, you might want to avoid Interstate 70 just west of Denver. It can seem like everyone in the state is heading up to the mountains to ski, hike, or mountain bike!

If you’re looking for information on current construction projects in a specific part of town, the Colorado Department of Transportation can help you out with a list of current projects.

Want even more detailed information? The Denver Regional Council of Governments released its 2015 Annual Report on Traffic Congestion in the Denver Region last fall, which provides even more insight into the traffic patterns in the metro area and how it compares to 2005.

Additional resources can be found at cotrip.org, which will provide you with traffic or road conditions for a specific part of the city or state.

If all this information has you considering leaving the car at home and leaving the drive to someone else, waytogo.org, can help you find and utilize alternate transportation options, like carpooling, public transportation, and car sharing.

Thinking of moving Denver? Let us know if you have any questions or want more information about traffic or anything else!