Despite being the 11th largest metropolitan statistical area in the United States, Tom Tom Travel Index data lists Phoenix as the 45th most congested city in the country for 20183. That puts Phoenix below places like Baton Rouge, Boise, and Tucson. Nevertheless, the MAG region still suffers from congestion, particularly during the peak periods. Congestion affects the movement of goods and people and has environmental impacts due to increased fuel consumption. Annually, Texas A&M University Transportation Institute, a nationwide leader in assessing the impacts of congestion, estimates that congestion costs the region $3.3 billion.
As the Chart below shows, Arizona’s population has been steadily growing along with VMT. This trend is expected to continue and will place further stress on our transportation system. This will lead to increased congestion should mitigation efforts be unable to keep pace. VMT is affected by changes to socioeconomic forecasts and changes in data processing methodologies. For more information about VMT and how it is prepared for the table below, please contact us.
MAG uses several data sources to examine congestion in the region across a variety of facilities. For the purposes of performance measurement, congestion is defined as a ratio of the measured speed divided by the speed limit for each stretch of roadway in the network. The data is further broken down by time periods.