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UDOT: Traffic volumes near normal, but more spread out

Fewer cars during the morning drive meant fewer drivers got stuck in traffic jams like this one, caused by a fuel spill in South Salt Lake on March 9, 2021. Photo: UDOT Traffic Camera

SALT LAKE CITY — COVID-19 may have permanently changed the way we commute: UDOT says traffic volumes have turned to nearly pre-pandemic levels, but with less congestion at any one time. 

In other words, Utah traffic patterns look different than they did before, but the same number of drivers take the roads every day. 

Traffic volumes up

Utah Department of Transportation spokesman John Gleason told KSL drivers’ schedules changed, possibly permanently. 

“We’re back up to about 99% of the traffic volumes that we saw prior to the pandemic,” Gleason confirmed. “You’re not seeing as much congestion and focus on the morning and the evening commute. The traffic’s spread out throughout the day.” 

Staggered travel plans help

Some people go to work later, and others work from home or travel to different places than they did before. Still, UDOT reports the evening commute recently has become more congested. 

“If we can get people to stagger the times that they’re out on the roads, that’s going to help us,” he added. “But again, we’re not talking anywhere near the congestion that we saw or anything like the slower speeds that we saw [before].” 

KSL NewsRadio provides triple-team traffic updates every ten minutes weekdays during both the morning and evening commutes, with breaking information as soon as it happens. 

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