Will Wilson is a former GOVERNING correspondent.E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Inrix just released a national traffic scorecard, including a list of the 100 most congested metro areas. The great thing about the report is that it gets into the hour-by-hour, day-by-day details of congestion. (Caveat Driver: Avoid the road at 5:30 PM on Fridays.)
The press release for the report professes surprise about Honolulu's traffic (#38, with some even more congested peak times). I've had the good fortune of working a bit on Hawaii, so I knew about some of the traffic issues there. I was surprised about Portland (#21). I haven't been there in years, though, so maybe things have changed (or perhaps my memory is failing me).
On first impression, the report seems to provide strong evidence in favor of a staggered shift workday. The graph of daily traffic patterns shows predictable spikes around 7:30 AM and 5 PM. Those spikes mean a lot more time and petrol are being frittered away in slow (or standstill) traffic. While some offices must stick to a rigid 9-5, many businesses and government jobs could certainly have a rolling start time, pacing staff arrivals in the morning and departures in the afternoon.
Greater dispersement of working hours would make for shorter commutes and less money spent on gas...and that might make for happier, more productive employees.
Written and compiled by staff writers and editors, GOVERNING View is an on-the-ground, and sometimes behind-the-scenes, look at the topics we're covering in print and online. From notes on what's up in statehouses, county courthouses and city halls, to encounters with people, places and things, GOVERNING View is a window into the side of state and local government you don't always see.