If it seems like it’s taking longer to get into work than it used to, it’s not your imagination. Travel times on all Houston freeways have gone up in the past two years. According to research, with data collected from Houston Transtar, from 2011 to 2013 the travel times during peak driving hours has increased by as much as 20 minutes.
Those peak times start at 7am for the drive in, and 5pm for the drive home. The longest daily commute is on I-10 the Katy Freeway which is one of the widest interstates in the country. If your drive is to and from The Woodlands, it takes you an average of 18 minutes longer now than it did in 2011. Highway 288, I-45 The Gulf Freeway and I-10 The Baytown East Freeway have all seen an increase of about 12 minutes in travel times during rush hours.
There are fixes though. Officials with TxDOT say they are making improvements to freeways like 290 and The Gulf Freeway to try and ease some of the congestion.
Traffic expert Tim Lomax with the Texas A&M Transportation Institute says there is an upside to the congestion. In an exclusive interview with our t-v partner Local 2 Lomax said "Big picture, it shows Houston has a really good economy, that's what we see as the downside of a lot of people and a lot of jobs." He adds if you can leave before those peaks times you might cut down on your drive. Also more and more employers are allowing their staff to work from home, at least part time.