Anchorage Tracks Traffic Congestion
Is Anchorage's traffic getting worse or better?
Most people don’t like waiting in traffic but it’s becoming a fact of life in Anchorage. Peak times can start as early as 4 p.m. and run until roughly 6:30 p.m.
“It’s got worse for sure; it’s just ridiculous,” said Anchorage traffic planner John Spring.
It’s a challenge to keep traffic flowing, but in the last four years engineers have made improvements - the extension of Elmore Road is a big one.
New turn lanes at Lake Otis and Tudor have turned the intersections from one of the worst into one of the best.
Cars used to crawl down Lake Otis during rush hour just a few years ago, averaging just seven miles an hour. Today the average speed during peak times is 17 miles per hour.
Traffic engineers know this information because of the 50 permanent monitors that are set up around town, which count every single vehicle that goes by, noting their weight and the speed they are traveling at.
The data is then fed back to the state and used to design new roads and helps determine which ones will need help.
The Gamble/Ingra corridor sees 65,000 vehicles a day, according to DOT's Traffic Data Manager Howard Helkenn.
The state says the next big project will probably be at 36th and the New Seward Highway – Alaska is seeking funding to build an interchange as a solution, but according to the state it is several years away.
The plan is up for review by the Anchorage Assembly and should have a period for public comment some time in March.