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WASHINGTON – The days of easy summer commuting are over.
The rush hours following Labor Day are notorious for featuring a resurgence of highway volume as kids go back to school and summer vacations draw to a close.
While many Washingtonians have come to expect the onslaught of heavy traffic, many insist that delays are worse now than ever before.
“Traffic in September – it happens every year. The pattern is predictable, but the degree has increased over the years,” says WTOP Traffic reporter Bob Marbourg.
Although there is little doubt that highway volumes have increased throughout the metro area over time, Marbourg explains there are several elements that contribute to the perception of a worsening of traffic congestion.
“Over the summer people may change where they live, their workplace may move and so often they are coming from new directions on new routes, and it does take some getting used to,” he says.
The average daily delay per traveler dropped by 18 percent between June 2011 and July 2011 (25.1 minutes to 20.6 minutes). In September 2011, the average daily delay per traveler shot up nearly 27 percent between August and September (20.4 minutes to 25.8 minutes).
Obviously, many people in the Washington area have much longer commutes that can stretch into hours.