PORTLAND, Ore. — Portland is still among the 15 worst big cities in the country for traffic congestion, but the city's average congestion declined in 2018, according to data released Tuesday.
Drivers in Portland spent 3% less time in traffic in 2018 than in 2017, according to the Traffic Index from TomTom, a transportation technology company.
The Rose City dropped four spots on the list of worst traffic congestion, from No. 11 to No. 15. Portland's traffic congestion level was 24% in 2018, which means Portlanders typically spent 24% more time in the car than an average trip without traffic. That number was down from 27% in 2017.
Congestion was much worse during peak congestion workday hours, from 7-8 a.m. in the morning and 4-5 p.m. in the evening Monday through Friday. During those hours, for a 30-minute trip, drivers spent an average of 11 extra minutes in traffic in the morning and 17 minutes more in the evening. There wasn't a big change in peak numbers from 2017, when the morning commute added 11 minutes and the evening commute added 18.
Tuesday through Friday in the evening hours were the worst for congestion. On those days, drivers faced between 54% and 61% congestion levels. Congestion during those times was down overall from the 2017 numbers, when drivers faced between 58% and 67% congestion levels.
The worst peak time in 2018 was Thursdays at 5 p.m., with drivers spending 61% more time in traffic than normal. Thursdays at 5 p.m. was also the worst peak time in 2017, at 67%.
Want to avoid traffic? Drive before 6 a.m. or after 7 p.m., during which congestion levels range from 0% to 10%.
The best day to travel in 2018 was Christmas Day, which had a 1% congestion level on average. April 5 was the worst day of the year, with an average daily congestion level of 42%.