NOACA Study Finds Travel Time Slightly Longer on Some Freeways
If you think you’re spending more time on the freeway during rush hour to get to and from work in downtown Cleveland, you’re probably right. According to the recent Freeway Travel Time Study conducted by the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA), travel times on some freeways near Cleveland are slightly longer than they were in 2006, the last time data were gathered.
Not surprisingly, the lowest average travel speeds (equal to or less than 45 mph) occurred during the morning (7:00-9:30 a.m.) and afternoon (4:00-6:30 p.m.) peak periods in the peak direction along segments of I-71, I-480, I-77, I-271, SR-176, and I-90 East and I-90 West corridors.
The top freeway segments with the slowest peak-period travel speeds are those along the Innerbelt and those leading toward downtown Cleveland, with the exception of three segments; one located on I-77 between I-480 and SR-21 (Brecksville Road); and two located on I-480 in the vicinity of I-71/SR-237.
“We can’t assume that the slower speeds are all because of increased traffic volumes,” cautions Mona Aziz, a senior transportation engineer at NOACA. “The fluctuation in travel speeds could be because of peak-period characteristics, local roadway conditions, or construction on adjacent roads that would divert traffic to the freeway system.”
Aziz notes that during the course of the travel time survey, heavy trucks were restricted from using the I-90 Innerbelt Bridge as part of the Ohio Department of Transportation’s Innerbelt Bridge Safety Plan. Heavy truck traffic was directed to I-490 as an alternate route so less traffic merged into the I-90 Innerbelt Bridge from I-71 and I-90.
NOACA staff will conduct further analysis to help improve the operational performance along the congested segments. In addition to congestion, staff will look at vehicle crashes and pavement conditions.
Even though you may be sitting in traffic on the freeway a little longer than you used to, congestion is still not a major problem in northeast Ohio. According to the Texas Transportation Institute Urban Mobility Report published in 2010, Cleveland ranks 61 out of 100 on the travel time index, as compared to other cities.
The complete Freeway Travel Time Study can be viewed or downloaded (24.5 MB).
For more information, contact Gayle L. Godek, Senior Communications Specialist, at 216-241-2414, ext. 283; or Jonathan Giblin, Director of Programs, at ext. 346.