Study ranks Portland 9th worst for traffic congestion

Study ranks Portland 9th worst for traffic congestion
Traffic on Interstate 5 near the Rose Quarter (file photo by Shannon L. Cheesman, KATU.com).

PORTLAND, Ore. - A new traffic study from the people behind the TomTom navigation system ranks Portland as the ninth worst for traffic congestion in the U.S.

The report says Thursday's drive to and from work is the heaviest, with more backups on surface streets than highways. The average delay during those peak times was 30 minutes.

So is Portland's traffic congestion really worthy of such a high ranking? ODOT says probably not, but we do have problem spots like Interstate 5 and Highway 217. ODOT says there's constant work going on to manage traffic congestion as it happens.

"A lot of the efforts that we've got in there right now, such as ramp meters and the incident response trucks all are designed to make sure that congestion episodes don't last as long," said ODOT spokesman Don Hamilton.

He added the agency will use studies like this to look at traffic trends over time. In the future they'll be adding more electronic signs that will help drivers choose a better route around heavy traffic.

And by the way if you're wondering who topped this list, that was Los Angeles, followed by San Francisco. Our neighbors to the north, Seattle, came in fourth.