Study shows Calagry has less traffic congestion than other cities
More public transit will continue to help, says city councillor
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Mild winter temperatures and a dwindling economy are behind a decrease in Calgary's traffic congestion, according to a GPS traffic index.
Calgary placed ninth for the highest traffic congestion in the country. However, overall congestion in the city decreased by three per cent from 2014 to 2015.
The TomTom traffic index is an annual report that details cities around the world with the most traffic congestion.
Nick Cohn, TomTom’s senior traffic expert, said that he believes the decrease is due to better winter weather and because of Alberta’s recent economic downturn.
“The number of people on the roads going to work [is less] because there has been an economic change in Alberta and that ends up influencing congestion levels,” he said.
Another reason that Calgary has improved it’s rating as a less congested city is that Calgary has put urban mobility high on the agenda, according to Cohn.
“Calgary has a very successful rail, park and ride system and I’m sure that has a measurable effect,” said Cohn.
Ward 12 Coun. Shane Keating believes that improving public transit or changing the roadways will help reduce traffic volumes.
“If we put an HOV on the Deerfoot, I think that would motivate individuals coming from that area [to use it],” said Keating. “The really big thing the city needs to do is get more accessible public transit.”
“I think the numbers coming from bikes and pedestrians won’t be enough to change [road congestion in Calgary].”
TomTom's Cohn suggests that commuters do pre-trip planning before they get out on the roads, to minimize their time in traffic. He wants people to take another route if there appears to be a traffic jam or an accident has occurred.
“One of the main reasons of this report is that we want to get travellers to think about how they could change their daily patterns,” said Cohn. “There’s no road authority or transport authority.”