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Fewer Cars, Faster Speeds: How COVID-19 Is Impacting Metro Phoenix Traffic

COVID-19 means fewer cars and faster speeds on Valley freeways and state highways. That’s based on proprietary research released by the Maricopa Association of Governments.

According to analytics company, INRIX, congestion delay is down about 50% compared to the first week of March. Congestion delays compare actual travel times like morning and evening rush hours to travel times when traffic is free flowing.

When comparing data from April, May and June 2020 to the same period in 2019, weekday freeway speeds increased 12% in the morning and 14% in the afternoon. For arterial streets, speeds increased an average of 7% during rush hours compared to 2019.

Traffic for heavy trucks moving freight has remained steady. The research found volumes dropped to 91% of normal the second week of April and, since the second week of May, have maintained at or above 100% of normal traffic levels.

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As a senior field correspondent, Christina Estes focuses on stories that impact our economy, your wallet and public policy.