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Study: Commuters Waste 34 Hours A Year in Traffic

A new study looks at traffic trends in the Twin Cities. How is your commute around the Maple Grove, Golden Valley and Plymouth area? Do you think traffic has gotten better or worse over the last five years?

Over the course of this year, commuters will spend an additional 34 hours stuck in traffic. A new transportation report shows congestion levels for cities across the nation and it doesn’t paint a pretty picture for motorists in the metro.

The study shows the number of travelers during rush hour has climbed and so has the average commute time. The metro highways are congested five hours a day, which means commuters waste an additional 12 gallons of fuel of year, according to the study.

“We all understand that trips take longer in rush hour, but for really important appointments, we have to allow increasingly more time to ensure an on-time arrival,” says Bill Eisele, a Texas A&M Transportation Institute researcher and report co-author.  “As bad as traffic jams are, it’s even more frustrating that you can’t depend on traffic jams being consistent from day-to-day.”

The Minnesota Department of Transportation said freeway congestion "increased slightly" from 2011 to 2012, but named several projects aimed at addressing the congestion, such as Highway 610 in Maple Grove and the Highway 169/Interstate 494 Interchange Reconstruction project in Eden Prairie.

The study focuses on main arteries through the metro, but we’ve asked Patch users about their commute in the past.

Aside from congested highways, many commuters worry about dangerous intersections. We asked Patch users to tell us where the most dangerous intersections in their neighborhoods were.

Here’s a list of a few of the intersections that residents feel are unsafe in Plymouth, Maple Grove and Golden Valley.

  • W Broadway and Penn Avenue, Minneapolis
  • W Broadway and Fremont Avenue, Minneapolis
  • Regent Avenue and 36th Avenue, Golden Valley
  • Ensign Avenue and 23rd Street, Golden Valley
  • Boone Avenue and 36th Avenue, New Hope
  • South of Arbor Lakes Freeway Access, Maple Grove
  • Dunkirk Lane and 82nd Avenue, Maple Grove
  • Pilgrim Lane Elementary Crosswalk, Plymouth
  • Interstate 494 and County Road 9, Plymouth
  • Sunset Trail, County Road 73 and Zachary Lane, Plymouth

How is your commute? Do you think traffic has gotten better or worse over the last five years? Tell us your thoughts in the comment section below.

Candace Oathout April 11, 2013 at 07:54 PM
My commute from Crystal to Edina has not gotten worse nor has it improved, however, any changes to this commute are moot because there is no alternative to driving this corridor. There is not now and never will be a convenient way to make this commute via ANY of the proposed "congestion eliminating" transit projects that are costing Billions ( yes that's a B) to construct. That is one of the fallacies of proposed transit solutions in this region today. Instead of providinng easy convenient service via bus or even multi-usa trail this north south commute is totally ignored. It seems the Metropolitan Council and city planners have decided that we all need to live in higher density and usually multi-story buildings clustered around transit stations. Why must families give up individual dwelling units with space to produce a significant portion of their food needs outside their backdoors? We are dealing with escalating food and energy prices accross the country. Why residents being pushed into accepting multi-level townhomes and high rise apartments? Urban development in the US currently occupies 3% of the total land mass within US boundaries. Designated Wilderness on the other hand occupies now includes 757 areas (109,509,958 acres) in 44 states and Puerto Rico. When the Wilderness Act was enacted in 1964, there were (9.1 million acres) in 13 states. Sierra Club considers uptimum density as 400 households per acre is 614,400 people per square mile, No that is congestion!

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