Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

Performance Measures

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Congestion


About the measures

Freeway congestion is defined as the percent of Twin Cities metropolitan-area freeway miles with an average traffic speed less than 45 miles per hour during morning and afternoon peak times.

Recent trends

In 2020, 0.9% of the freeway system was congested, which was nearly a 25-percentage point decrease from 2019. While freeway congestion increased to 5.8% in 2021, it was still well below pre- COVID-19 trends. Freeway congestion in 2022 increased to 13.7%, which suggests that travel patterns are shifting as more people return to in-person work part-time or full-time.

Where we want to go

Increasing traffic congestion increases fuel usage and emissions, creates a higher risk for crashes, increases shipping costs, and reduces the time available to spend on other activities. Factors that affect congestion include economic conditions and population growth. To ensure reasonable travel time for commuters and travelers and reduce congestion on the interstate highway system, MnDOT currently relies on several strategies including active traffic management (e.g., an advanced system of cameras, loop detectors, and ramp meters), low-cost spot mobility improvements to improve traffic flow, E-Z Pass lanes, and strategic capacity enhancements (e.g., bus-only shoulders, unpriced dynamic shoulder lanes, and interchange capacity improvements). MnDOT also maintains and updates a Statewide Freight System and Investment Plan, a State Rail Plan, and a Statewide Ports and Waterways Plan to advance freight, railway, waterway, and multimodal planning and integration.

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