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During rush hour, traffic matters in downtown Phoenix

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

PHOENIX — While the Valley of the Sun may in many ways lack the big city feel of New York, Chicago or San Francisco, it can match other major metropolitan areas when it comes to rush hour traffic.

Thanks to billions of anonymous measurements and analysis by Here Technologies, we now can visualize just how much rush hour traffic affects drivers in Phoenix.

By tracking drivers leaving from downtown Phoenix at different times of the day — 4 p.m., 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. — the Washington Post determined that the Valley is among the most affected by rush hour traffic.

Leaving downtown around 4 p.m. on a Friday, drivers can travel nearly 50 miles. But when rush hour traffic is gone at 10, drivers can find themselves well beyond 50 miles outside of the city.
The red on the graphic to the right indicates areas outside Phoenix accessible in one hour of driving beginning at 4 p.m., while the yellow indicates an hour of driving from 7 p.m. The blue marks areas accessible in an hour leaving downtown at 10 p.m.

Compared to other big cities, that’s a big difference. Boston ranks atop the list of cities impacted by rush hour traffic; drivers can travel almost 25 miles more during off-hours compared to rush hour.

Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago, San Francisco and San Diego rank ahead of Phoenix and are most-affected by rush hour traffic.

Where does rush hour not cause delays? Las Vegas is at the bottom of the list, and that’s followed by St. Louis, Kansas City, Mo., Orlando, Fla., and Atlanta.

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