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One Year In: What The New Pandemic Lifestyle Has Done To Maricopa County's Traffic

Since last March, as businesses, workplaces and schools were restricted or shut down, traffic in Maricopa County, for the most part, remained resilient, and heavy trucks began to infiltrate. 

Over the past year, the Maricopa County Association of Governments  tracked the county’s traffic volume. Congestion was most significantly affected during Gov. Doug Ducey’s stay-at-home order, hitting a low point of  61% of the normal traffic on the roads. Once the order expired, traffic began to recover.

But Wang Zhang, the transportation Data Program manager with MAG, also points out heavy truck traffic grew significantly and was on average  up 20% its normal levels since November. 

“We see more heavy trucks on the road for different purposes, getting those grocery, you know, goods delivered to the stores, people intent to conduct more online shopping," Zhang said.

Zhang says traffic volume hit normal pre-pandemic levels for the first time last week. 

Jill Ryan joined KJZZ in 2020 as a morning reporter, and she is currently a field correspondent and Morning Edition producer.