Join Riverfront Times Press Club. Because No News is Bad News.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

St. Louis Has the Least Traffic Congestion of the Nation's 20 Biggest Metro Areas

Posted By on Thu, Sep 27, 2018 at 6:05 AM

click to enlarge We haven't been stuck in traffic in this town since 2007. - FLICKR/CRAIG MOE
  • We haven't been stuck in traffic in this town since 2007.

Among the many reasons life in St. Louis is easier than other big cities: We simply don't have the traffic.

That's borne out in a new study released yesterday by Geotab, which makes vehicle tracking devices. It analyzed 7.7 million aggregated traffic data records within its system, all logged between August 2017 and July 2018, to get an accurate picture of traffic congestion across the U.S.

The data shows that St. Louis had "the fewest problems in terms of sluggish traffic" of the twenty cities surveyed. In fact, even during our peak rush hour — 4 to 5 p.m. — speed decreased an average of just sixteen percent, dropping to 41 miles per hour.

click to enlarge screen_shot_2018-09-26_at_9.00.12_pm.png

Compare that to Boston, which suffers the most congested peak periods: Drivers there saw speeds fall an average of 40 percent, dropping to just 22 miles per hour during rush hour.

And really, it's pretty grim everywhere. The maps for Los Angeles and San Francisco are downright horrifying when you zoom in on the details. Even some cities not known for their congestion are shown as basically unbearable on these maps.

Ever thought about moving to Washington, D.C.? Don't. Geotab found it's home to the nation's slowest-moving traffic, with speeds ranging from 19 miles per hour from 5 to 6 p.m. to a maximum of 33 miles per hour at 4-5 a.m. Did you catch that? Even at four in the morning, they can't get to 35 miles per hour.

For more on St. Louis' traffic patterns, check out Geotab's interactive map of the city online. And for more about how bad those poor slobs in other cities have it, check out the complete report here.

We welcome tips and feedback. Email the author at

Riverfront Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of St. Louis and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep St. Louis' true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

June 3, 2020

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In St. Louis

© 2020 Riverfront Times

Website powered by Foundation