I-40 in Raleigh is 50th Worst Commute in America

January, 21, 2010, by Jedidiah

I-40 in Raleigh is 50th Worst Commute in America
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From The Daily Beast comes a survey of the top 75 Worst Commutes in America. While Raleigh didn’t finish as high as expected, I-40 did rank #50 out of 75 with Los Angeles finishing atop the list. Raleigh wasn’t the worst in North Carolina as Independence Boulevard in Charlotte finished at #35. While I-40 is bad, Independence in CLT is definitely much worse.

The list was created through data from traffic-tracking firm INRIX and ranking metropolitan areas with the worst rush-hour congestion, based on peak hour Time Travel Index. According to The Daily Beast “TTI is a measure of how much longer it takes to complete a road journey during peak congestion hours compared to free-flow hours. (Peak hours are defined as 6 a.m. to 10a.m., and 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.)” From there, the list breaks down the worst highway in each city based on the most hours of bottleneck congestion and specific intersections that are the most affected by the congestion.

Raleigh’s I-40 has, according to the list, 45 hours of bottleneck congestion per week. The worst bottleneck on I-40 through Raleigh? The intersection of US-1 and I-40 at Exit 293. This intersection is probably one of the worst planned exits on the entire Beltway around Downtown Raleigh. More statistics from the study below.

#50, I-40, Raleigh, NC
Weekly hours of bottleneck congestion: 45
Worst bottleneck: Westbound, US 1/US 64/Exit 293
Length of worst bottleneck: 2.61 mi
Weekly hours of congestion on worst bottleneck: 8
Speed of worst bottleneck when congested: 27.9 mph

Original source of the article, Matt Lail over at Raleigh Philosophical Society

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  • MCM
    01/21 02:49 PM

    I-40 is bad, but it’s better than being stuck on shitty ass Capital Blvd. That’s one nasty part of town.

  • Arthur
    01/21 03:12 PM

    It would help if they would build a bypass around RTP and Raleigh. The bypass could be part of 540 - but they have alread started on that SW section so maybe that will help the traffic load on 40 through RTP and South Raleigh once it opens.

  • Kevin
    01/21 03:15 PM

    Indep. Blvd in Charlotte is definitely bad, but you lie in the bed you make.  It’s an overbuilt area with stop lights at every intersection.  If you intend to use a road as a major commuter corridor, don’t build on it.

    I-40 is a limited access highway and it still sucks.

  • The Dreadnought
    01/21 03:15 PM

    I-40 sucks the very lifeforce out of me five days a week.

  • T-Plain
    01/21 03:17 PM

    We’re the 50th largest city too, right? So I guess that about makes sense.

  • Andrew
    01/21 03:27 PM

    Read the actual article. The “commuter comment” they use complains about a rock slide on I-40. You know, the one WEST of ASHVILLE.

    I’m not saying I-40 in Raleigh isn’t bad, but I have serious questions about the reliability of an article that gets its quotes by (presumably) searching Google.

  • Matt
    01/21 03:46 PM

    Nice work on expanding on this, NR. Great map!

  • MCM
    01/21 03:46 PM

    45th largest city.

  • trey
    01/22 12:20 AM

    i lived in both charlotte and Raleigh.  independence is no worse than Capital Blvd. southbound or Glenwood Avenue, Eastbound into town.

    They all suck. suburban strip malls and stop lights.  welcome to suburban america.

  • Dan from Detroit
    01/22 06:59 AM

    The day I stopped working in RTP and commuting home on I-40 was the single greatest day of my life.  In the middle of last summer, the aforementioned exchange had at least one accident per every 3 days I drove it.  Soccer moms entering on Harrison talking on their cell phones + RTP “Indy Car” drivers talking on the cell phones = chaos.

  • orulz
    01/22 04:10 PM

    I live in Raleigh (near the fairgrounds) and commute to Cisco. I’ve found two ways to beat the traffic.

    (1) Skip I-40 and drive through Cary. I’ve spent a few months timing a few various routes I came up with looking at a map. The obvious one is 54 but I’ve never tried it, since what experience I do have indicates there’s no way that it could possibly be faster than 40.

    Routes I’ve tried that yielded results similar to, or better than, I-40:
    Davis->Waldo Rood->Cary Parkway->US1/64

    But the fastest and most reliable route I’ve found actually avoids highways altogether.

    Davis->Waldo Rood->Cary Parkway->Chatham. The commute on I-40 is 36 minutes; this route is routinely about 30 minutes.

    (2) Ride the bus. I can sleep on board and forget about the traffic. Takes me longer to get home, but I wind up feeling refreshed rather than frustrated.

  • Word
    01/25 04:59 PM

    What Dan said, although in reverse. I live in SW Raleigh and used to commute up Falls of The Neuse, now I go in an equidistant, different, direction that routinely takes 4x as long going out to the Park.

    Harrison. It all boils down to Harrison (and to a lesser extent Aviation/Airport)

    What do these three exits have in common?

    Cary spawn.

    What ends up happening is folks wait until the last second to merge into either spot where 40/Wade split. 90% of those indecisive idiots come off the Harrison ramp.

    “Whoah whoah! I missed my turn, guess I better slam on my breaks, rather than proceed down (Wade or 40) this road that is going the same general direction as the other road.”

    <breaks slam, eastbound traffic becomes conjested past Alamance County.>

    Look, Cary people, you have a full mile+ and change with 5 exceptionally large signs notifying you of the upcoming split.

    I know it is a confusing and disconcerting that they cross over one another and head in nominally different ways… but… I see out of state tags master this interchange every time. Given how the Harrison Ave gang likes to merge after hitting the rumble strips, I suspect it has more to do with using the Wade Ave to screw over the rest of the Cary spawn and do the “whoops, oh jee I *meant* to merge routine.”

    Again, similar distance, more lights, narrower lane, but not having to deal with the town of Cary or its residents, 15-20 minute commute. 25 if there was a wreck.

    We need to put an end to the social expirement known as Cary.

  • amalosleway
    03/14 02:20 PM

    Apple now has Rhapsody as an app, which is a great start, but it is currently hampered by the inability to store locally on your iPod, and has a dismal 64kbps bit rate. If this changes, then it will somewhat negate this advantage for the Zune, but the 10 songs per month will still be a big plus in Zune Pass’ favor.

  • Estatthub
    03/21 05:28 AM

    Zune and iPod: Most people compare the Zune to the Touch, but after seeing how slim and surprisingly small and light it is, I consider it to be a rather unique hybrid that combines qualities of both the Touch and the Nano. It’s very colorful and lovely OLED screen is slightly smaller than the touch screen, but the player itself feels quite a bit smaller and lighter. It weighs about 2/3 as much, and is noticeably smaller in width and height, while being just a hair thicker.

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