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Here’s how the coronavirus outbreak affected Valley traffic in March

(Flickr Photo/Arizona Department of Transportation)

PHOENIX — Valley roadways saw less vehicles and traffic congestion during March of this year compared to last year because of the coronavirus outbreak, according to data released Wednesday.

The Maricopa Association of Governments said that more people working from home and heightened “stay-at-home” guidelines were likely causes for the less crowded roadways.

The travel time data, compiled by analytics company INRIX, covered all major highways and most high-capacity surface roads in Maricopa County.

Freeway speeds increased 21% in the evening rush hour and 7% in the morning rush hour in year-over-year March comparisons.

The number of vehicles on roadways also dropped 37% from the start of the month to the end, according to the data.

That led to the total hours of delay on Valley roads decreasing from 70,000 on March 1 to 30,000 on April 1.

Nitrogen dioxide emissions also declined about 10% from March 2019, according to satellite imaging.

Arizona has reported more than 2,700 coronavirus cases, including more than 1,500 in Maricopa County.

Gov. Doug Ducey has issued 19 executive orders, including four on Tuesday, since declaring a public health emergency over the coronavirus outbreak on March 11.

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For all articles, information and updates on the coronavirus from KTAR News, visit

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