There are lots of ways to measure traffic problems. By one national measure, the Triangle area doesn't have much of a problem.
The Texas Transportation Institute's annual Urban Mobility Report finds that the average driver in the Raleigh-Durham metropolitan area, population 1.14 million, wastes 23 hours in traffic jams and delays each year. That may sound bad. But, compared to the situation in other cities, it's good.
In fact, this number gives the Raleigh-Durham the least rush-hour congestion of all the 47 metro areas that have at least 1 million residents. Less congestion than lots of smaller cities, too -- including Greensboro, Knoxville, Columbia and Charleston (SC), Baton Rouge, Oklahoma City, Richmond and Albany. While Raleigh-Durham ranks 40th in population, it ranks 83rd in rush-hour delays.
Who's worst? Washington, D.C., where the average driver loses 67 hours in traffic jams every year. Charlotte comes in at 25th worst, with 40 hours of delays.