Tired of losing time in Baton Rouge rush hour traffic? It’s not just you

by: Keymonte Avery

Updated: Jan 31, 2023 / 08:08 AM CST

BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – Feel like the ride to and from work is taking way too much of your time? You’re not alone. Baton Rouge commuters lose more than 100 hours a year to extra drive times caused by traffic congestion, according to one data survey.

A CoPilot analysis of TomTom’s Traffic Index and the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2021 American Community Survey shows Baton Rouge rush hour traffic ranks fifth out of 80 metro cities in the United States and 112th in the world.

Researchers computed the increased traffic times based on an average 30-minute commute, then multiplied it by TomTom’s congestion level percentages. If the congestion level showed an additional 25%, that would mean the total commute time is 37.5 minutes.

Records show that evening commutes take more time than morning commutes in Baton Rouge and other metro cities across the nation. In total, about 97.6% of capital-area commuters use private transportation rather than public options.

Baton Rouge’s extra daily commute time due to rush hour traffic is about 26.5 minutes total, bringing some daily total drive times close to an hour and a half. That adds up to about 110 hours a year lost due to traffic congestion.

The morning commute adds about 8.7 minutes, and the evening trip home could take an extra 17.7 minutes. (End-of-day drives are longer nationally.)

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New York City; Newark, New Jersey; and Jersey City, Pennsylvania, tied for first place in rush-hour traffic. The extra drive time is sitting at around 31.7 minutes, meaning more than an hour and a half a day is spent commuting.

Part of the problem might be the growing number of workers who are driving to work after COVID-19 pandemic restrictions ended.

During the peak of the pandemic, lots of workers were able to work remotely, which caused rush-hour traffic to decline to a minimum. The percentage of workers working from home increased from 6% to 18% in a matter of two years.

However, the return to the office also means getting back in our vehicles.

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Here are a few suggestions that could reduce time spent in traffic and create a safer environment:

  • Avoid driving during rush hour. If it’s not an emergency or heading to/from work, try not to drive freely during peak times.
  • Try carpooling. If possible, check to see if someone would be willing to ride with you to reduce the traffic.
  • Map your route. Check your smartphone or other mapping services to check for alternative ways that may avoid congestion.
  • Use public or other means of transportation. Depending on where you live, you could take the local transit system to your destination.
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