Whether it’s the Gulf Freeway, the Katy or 290, traffic in the greater Houston area is always slow come rush hour. It tries our patience.
According to a new survey by business placement company Robert Half Houston ranks near the top when it comes to nightmarish commutes.
“Traffic has become the new normal, the new challenge for a city that is rapidly adding population and running out of open spaces, and it’s going to be the new normal for Houston for many years to come,” says Rice University sociology professor Dr. Stephen Kleinberg.
When it comes to the length of time we spend on our always-under-construction roadways we rank 11th in the nation. Washington D.C. has the longest commute, with San Francisco, Chicago and New York City moving slowly behind. Dallas brings up the rear of the top 5. The national average is 50 minutes combined.
Klineberg’s annual Kinder Institute study examining changes in Houston attitudes finds traffic is our number one concern. “In the early days of the 80’s with the collapse of the oil boom it was the economy. In the 90’s it was overwhelmingly crime. Today it is consistently traffic,” Kleinberg says.
We move up the rank when it comes to stress. Though you’ll be hard-pressed to find drivers more stressed out than those fighting the tangle of freeways in Los Angeles, which rate number one, and worse than Austin, which comes in at number three, Houston drivers are rated sixth worse off in the country.
38% of Houstonians say their commute is too long.