HOUSTON – In an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19, we radically changed almost everything about our lives and our highways certainly saw the change. As we’ve slowly started to return to work and school, some of that Houston congestion is making a comeback. You may have noticed your morning and evening commutes are now getting busier, but Traffic Expert Anavid Reyes is here to report the latest travel data shows we’re still well below normal, some parts more than others.
Waze took local driving trends studying the miles driven in each city.
In Houston, according to Waze, we were down nearly 50% for the week of Nov. 2, compared to the same time pre-COVID-19.
The week of Dec. 6, a busier shopping period, drivers traveled 40% less than pre-pandemic times.
Overall, Waze data shows in the months of November and December, people drove 42% fewer miles compared to miles traveled before the pandemic hit. Compare that to the summer, when miles driven were down 50% in July, so this data shows we are seeing a slow travel increase.
Houston Transtar data gives us a different perspective of when people are driving.
November’s travel time and speed data indicate that folks are still driving faster than they were in 2019.
Morning travel times are down 40%.
That Houston-like congestion we’re used to is mostly back during the latter part of the day. In the evening, drive times only dipped about 20% compared to last year.
If you’re still working from home and need to step out from time to time to run errands, do it earlier in the day, and if you’re an early riser and still heading into work, watch your speed and travel safely! Just because you don’t see the typical bottlenecks in the a.m. doesn’t mean you need to go NASCAR on the North Freeway.