NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The commute in and out of Nashville has changed over the past year with the pandemic impacting the city’s traffic patterns.
A new report from INRIX ranked Music City 44th for the most congested traffic in the country and 278th for the most congested city in the world. Nashville had previously been ranked at 37th.
Researchers found the average driver in Nashville sits in traffic congestion for 15 hours per year, which costs the driver an estimated $220.
The change in miles driven was down by 13% and collisions were reduced by 19%.
INRIX reported drivers across the country saw reductions in the amount of travelers during the pandemic, but it varied greatly depending on lockdowns in impacted cities.
Now that COVID-19 restrictions are lifting, the traffic congestion numbers are changing, too.
“Main thing we noticed pretty much across the country is that the afternoon or evening commute period, that is almost as congested as it was pre-COVID-19. The big changes are in the morning commute. We’re seeing far fewer vehicles on the road during the morning commute,” explained INRIX transportation analyst Bob Pishue.
Pishue added one positive impact of decreased congestion is freight travel and getting goods to markets. A truck not having to sit in traffic during 2020 could lead to lower prices for households.
In Nashville, the bottleneck at Interstate 24 at Trinity Lane dropped 40% compared to what it was before 2020.
“We expect more of the suburban and rural and lower density cities to kind of recover faster, that’s what we’ve seen, generally suburban areas are almost back to their pre-COVID level of travel, the downtown and urban regions are still pretty far below,” said Pishue.
Pishue said fternoon and evening commute times are rebounding faster than morning congestion and INRIX’s data shows morning commutes have pushed closer to mid-day.