Counting traffic: What do Houston traffic volumes look like today?


HOUSTON – Since this pandemic we’ve been tracking the big drop in traffic across the Houston area, but where do we stand since the state reopened in mid-May?

Traffic Expert Anavid Reyes spoke with Houston Transtar and has the answer.

We saw a slight bump at the end of May, but as COVID cases began to surge, that rebound started to slow down.

It’s safe to say traffic volumes are still gradually growing, since their low point during the pandemic, but they’re still below what we saw during this time last year.

The following data from Houston Transtar shows traffic volumes when compared to 2019:

  • Week of 5/16/2020 – 5/22/2020: Volume was down 18.8% Year-Over-Year
  • Week of 5/23/2020 – 5/29/2020: Volume was down 18.1% Year-Over-Year
  • Week of 5/30/2020 – 6/5/2020: Volume was down 13.5% Year-Over-Year
  • Week of 6/6/2020 – 6/12/2020: Volume was down 14.0% Year-Over-Year

Basically, what these numbers mean is during the week of May 16 traffic volumes were down nearly 19%. The following week in May, volumes were 18% lower. In the week of May 30, we saw traffic returning with traffic volumes only off 13% year-to-year.

Then that trend stopped.

The week of June 6, volumes were down 14% year-to-year, effectively putting the brakes on the increase in traffic as COVID cases surged.

Travel times are still down and speeds are up for both morning and evening commutes on every stretch of roadway.