The average commute for a Middle Tennessee resident, according to US Census data, is between 25 and 35 minutes. As the population has multiplied over the last 10-20 years, so has traffic.
Nashville, in general, ranked as the 19th-worst city for traffic in the country in 2015 and 23rd-worst in 2016. Traffic and congestion are macro problems, that have to do with many variables, so any list of some of the worst traffic spots does not capture the whole picture. Bad traffic in one area is related to traffic in other areas, growth, jobs, where people live and what they do. This is by no means an authoritative list of congestion. There could be, and probably are, dozens of roads or stretches of roads and intersections in Middle Tennessee that suffer congestion that is just as bad as anywhere else.
There is congestion and then there is volume. A lower volume street might have the worst congestion, so the definition of traffic and how bad it is is not always black and white. Some of the spots on this list were picked because they are among the highest volume and high congestion roads with two lanes, while others were picked for their high volume but variable congestion like might be found on I-65. In no particular order, here are 10 of the worst traffic spots in Middle Tennessee.
*Data was used from TDOT’s car-counter reports, and for congestion, as well as a study by the American Transportation Research Institute, a traffic study by the city of Franklin, a joint Brentwood-Nashville traffic study and a Spring Hill traffic study were used.
1. I-440 and I-24
This summer, an American Transportation Research Institute study released the 100 worst traffic bottlenecks in the country and three Nashville-area spots were on the list.
The worst of those–20th-worst in the country– was the I-440 and I-24 interchange. This would make it most likely the worst traffic spot in the state for a bottleneck. It causes traffic to back up on both the highways and streets leading to and from them:
The average speed of traffic, according to the study, on it is 45 mph. At rush hours, the average speed is just 34 mph, and during non-peak hours it is still only 51 mph.
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