Operations Performance Measurement Program
photos of traffic merging on a multi-level freeway interchange, traffic near a construction zone, variable message sign, train at a crossing, traffic on a river bridge, and a rural highway
21st Century Operations Using 21st Century Technologies

UCR October 2008-December 2008 (FY 2009, Q1)

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A Snapshot of Congestion Trends in the U.S. for October (Oct) 2008 through December (Dec) 2008.

Congested Hours

Average duration of weekday congestion

-23 minutes
from last year
green downward arrow - general trend is for improving conditions

Oct-Dec 2008: 4:57
Oct-Dec 2007: 5:20

Travel Time Index

Peak period travel times vs. off-peak travel times

-2 points
from last year
green downward arrow - general trend is for improving conditions

Oct-Dec 2008: 1.24
Oct-Dec 2007: 1.26

Planning Time Index

Unreliability (variability) of travel

-2 points
from last year
green downward arrow - general trend is for improving conditions

Oct-Dec 2008: 1.59
Oct-Dec 2007: 1.61

Summary of Nationwide Trends

  • All three nationwide measures showed slight improvements when compared to the same three months in 2007.
  • Thirteen of the 21 cities showed improvements in all three measures.
  • Three of the 21 cities showed worsening conditions in all three measures.
  • Five of the 21 cities were mostly unchanged or had mixed results among the three measures.

Congestion and Reliability Trends for Each UCR City

October 2008 through December 2008 Quarterly Urban Congestion Report Compared to the same Three Months Last Year
City Congested Hours Travel Time Index Planning Time Index % Change in VMT % Usable Data
2008 Change from 2007 2008 Change from 2007 2008 Change from 2007
Atlanta, GA 5:36 -1:19 1.21 -8% 1.57 -17% -2% 58%
Boston, MA 5:09 -0:15 1.26 -4% 1.72 -2% -2% 95%
Chicago, IL 10:01 +0:06 1.37 -4% 1.92 +3% -2% 94%
Detroit, MI 5:24 -2:43 1.08 -3% 1.30 -6% -33% 73%
Houston, TX 5:21 +0:35 1.37 +6% 1.84 +15% -5% 88%
Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN 4:38 +0:29 1.23 +1% 1.72 +14% 0% 99%
Oklahoma City, OK 1:18 -1:14 1.05 +1% 1.15 0% 8% 100%
Orange County, CA 4:24 +0:24 1.24 +2% 1.56 +6% -2% 100%
Los Angeles, CA 6:30 -0:26 1.32 -2% 1.70 -1% 1% 100%
Philadelphia, PA 5:01 -0:33 1.19 -4% 1.51 -7% 4% 83%
Phoenix, AZ 2:54 -1:59 1.19 -9% 1.47 -22% -2% 100%
Pittsburgh, PA 6:17 -1:26 1.20 -4% 1.46 -9% -1% 91%
Portland, OR 2:18 -0:42 1.32 -3% 1.93 +5% -6% 32%
Providence, RI 2:48 -0:45 1.10 -3% 1.35 -4% 1% 100%
Riverside - San Bernardino, CA 2:42 -0:59 1.10 -5% 1.28 -10% -1% 100%
Sacramento, CA n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
St. Louis, MO 2:29 -0:50 1.08 -4% 1.29 -8% 3% 99%
Salt Lake City, UT n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
San Antonio, TX 5:36 +1:22 1.13 -4% 1.33 -17% 3% 86%
San Diego, CA 2:08 -0:58 1.10 -6% 1.29 -13% 0% 100%
San Francisco, CA 3:21 -1:08 1.17 -2% 1.38 -8% -4% 94%
Seattle, WA 5:52 -1:20 1.35 -9% 1.82 -14% -5% 100%
Tampa, FL 3:27 +0:43 1.11 0% 1.27 -1% -3% 99%

Notes:
Green bolded values (with sign) indicate improving conditions; red italics (with + sign) indicate worsening conditions.
"n.a." indicates that data was not available or was of insufficient quality.
Comparison of 2009 to 2008 is for the same three-month period (October - December).

For more information on the UCR, contact Rich Taylor (Rich.Taylor@dot.gov).

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