Moscow crowns for world's largest traffic city, LA tops top of US cities
TomTom's annual index finds significant reductions in traffic during waves due to pandemic lockouts.
Moscow has the dubious reputation of being the world's largest traffic congestion city in 2020, outperforming Bengaluru, India, which was larger in 2019 and collapsed to 6th place. Los Angeles topped the list of U.S. cities, according to the 10th annual TomTom Traffic Index, which reports the state of traffic in more than 400 cities in 57 countries.
While the ranking of the most densely populated cities in the world has shifted very little since 2019, the big change is how far density levels have fallen due to the global pandemic, TomTom said. . Of the 416 cities included in the index, 387 saw a significant reduction (average of 21%) in density, and an average reduction of 28% in congestion during rush hour - a 'a decline in congestion that has seen a year - on - year increase in the first TomTom Traffic Index report.
"We've never seen anything like that," said Nicholas Cohn, a traffic expert at TomTom, about the total decline in traffic. "I can't imagine the US, for example, doing anything in the last 50 years - other than the expansion of the interstate highway system - that has changed road movement patterns as much as it has. what happened in 2020. "
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While Los Angeles takes the top spot in the U.S., in the overall global ranking the city ranked 85th with drivers spending an average of 27% more travel time in traffic, down from 42% in 2019, Cohn said.
"After the first one [pandemic] restrictions were imposed in March, almost no U.S. city has returned to normal traffic levels, '' he said.
Mumbai, India; Bogota, Columbia; Manila, Philippines; and Istanbul, Turkey; around the list of the five busiest cities in the world.
Other US cities with heavy traffic
Following Los Angeles, New York (26%), Miami (23%), San Francisco (21%), and Baton Rouge (20%) are the top five cities in the US. Compared to 2019, Miami and Baton Rouge have replaced San Jose and Seattle in the five most congested cities in 2020.
This year’s index has new features to address how different 2020 was from previous years, TomTom said. They include interactive graphics that show the monthly and weekly changes in traffic, compare year over year data, look at the minimum congestion days to better explain on what happened during the pandemic of those days and look at travel patterns during working days to see how the daily commute changed.
One surprise was that Cape Coral-Fort Myers was in the top 10 U.S. cities for 2020, Cohn said. He said many of his days in 2020 were a reflection of traffic congestion in 2019. “Traffic went down, but nowhere near other cities, which is why it rose so high in the ranking, he explained.
Other key albums include:
Not surprisingly, in April 2020, 413 cities worldwide showed a decrease in traffic congestion, but only three saw an increase.
In the summer months (June, July, August) there was a slight return to normal with more cities showing an increase in traffic congestion.
Overall, the U.S. acted differently from the rest of the world in the sense that traffic never returned to its 2019 levels.
Cities with lower than normal traffic are reflecting the local constraints imposed at the time of the pandemic, such as the closure of businesses, which meant that people were better able to stay at home. house, Cohn said.
The city of Bakersfield, Calif., Ranked 11th on the U.S. list and Cohn noted that it is a city with many jobs that cannot be done from home. "Bakersfield has more jobs in the oil industry and large-scale agriculture," he said. [typically] work in tech. "
In the case of Moscow, Cohn said that it is an example of a city with lower travel restrictions during the pandemic.
Another surprise he found was LA traffic peak in the afternoon compared to the morning, he said, adding that he does not know why this could be.
However, TomTom warned that it is not expected that the roads will remain as unpaved unless there is a concerted and deliberate shift in driver behavior with the support of policy makers and employers. It's possible to end the rush hour through flexible working hours, working from home, and using a fast way of traffic data to determine optimal travel times, the company said.
"I don't think it's going to fall before we see familiar traffic congestion levels and patterns reversing in a big way, '' in big cities like New York, London, or Berlin, where passengers rely heavily on public transformation, Cohn said.