Arizona Traffic Expected To Increase With Memorial Day Weekend Approaching

By Harry Croton
Published: Wednesday, May 20, 2020 - 4:20pm
Updated: Thursday, May 21, 2020 - 7:57am
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With Memorial Day weekend approaching and Gov. Doug Ducey’s stay-at-home order lifted, traffic in metro Phoenix might be the worst it has been in months. And the numbers suggest it might only be the beginning.

The Maricopa Association of Governments records traffic congestion trends using vehicle delay hours as data.

The hours are determined by recording travel time for vehicles on highways when the average speed in a given hour during the day is at least 20 mph lower than normal, free-flow speed.

From March to April, there was around a 50% decrease in delay hours with fewer cars on the road, but since May 15, the numbers have begun to rise.

Eric Anderson is the executive director with MAG.

“As we get back to that 100% on traffic volumes, delay will also come back up to that level. Without a doubt," Anderson said.

Anderson notes if employers extend or make permanent their remote work environments, Arizona highways might consistently see an improvement in traffic.

“Before all this happened, we think that about 8% of the people were telecommuting at any one time," Anderson said. "That could easily double or more moving forward.”

Traffic on the I-17 northbound will be an important source in helping MAG gather more data this weekend.