Canadians waste a lot of time getting stuck in traffic.
Even in such a massive country with such a small population, congestion is still something that plagues the streets, lanes and boulevards of most of our major cities. And the worst part is, it’s only getting worse.
Dutch navigation company TomTom just released its annual Traffic Index, and it revealed that we’re all wasting about 79 hours each year bumper to bumper. As for the most gridlocked city in the country? That would be (and this will probably surprise you) Vancouver. That’s right, easy-going, beautiful Vancouver. The city was pegged with a congestion score of 35 per cent, well over the national average of 27.
But hey, at least they have a nice ocean view to look out at while they’re waiting.
The Canadian city with the best traffic score on the list, however, was Calgary. But Senior Traffic Expert Nick Cohn says no matter where in the country you live, the Thursday evening commute seems to be the worst.
Which only leaves one question: what can you do to dodge the gridlock?
“We can see in the data that in some cities people are commuting on the same route every day at the same time and not thinking about either changing their departure time or trying a different route, Cohn said. “In North America there generally are alternatives to shave some of that lost travel time off.”
In other words, by either changing your work schedule or switching your route to include smaller streets, you could potentially save some time. But TomTom ultimately focuses more of the blame on the cities themselves, calling for better public transportation, cycling infrastructure and possibly even changing the traditional work week which is what forces everyone onto the roads to begin with.
Here are the most congested cities in Canada, according to the company:
- Vancouver: Congestion level 35 per cent, world ranking 20
- Toronto: 31 per cent, world rank 47
- Ottawa: 28 per cent, world rank 59
- Montreal: 27 per cent, world rank 75
- Edmonton: 23 per cent, world rank 97
- Calgary: 22 per cent, world rank 101
Check out the video above.