Scott Shenk writes about transportation issues affecting Fredericksburg-area residents. You can email him at

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Is D.C.-area traffic not as bad as we thought?

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The D.C. region has consistently ranked as the worst, or one of the very worst, traffic congestion spots in the nation, but on the worldwide stage it’s a relative small fry.

Most recently the Texas A&M Transportation Institute’s mobility report tabbed the D.C. region, which the Fredericksburg-area’s thousands of commuters know all too well, as the nation’s worst. (See our story here.)

But a more recent report by GPS manufacturer TomTom knocked the D.C. region down (or is it up?) a few notches, according to a Washington Post Dr. Gridlock blog.

TomTom released its Traffic Index report on Wednesday (click here for the various reports).

The D.C. region is just the sixth worst congested area in the U.S., and barely made it into the top 10 for the Americas.

Rio de Janeiro tops that list, followed by Sao Paulo, Vancouver, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

No U.S. cities made it on TomTom’s worldwide worst congested areas.

According to the worldwide rankings, D.C. doesn’t really come close to cracking the top 10.

TomTom’s Chief Executive Officer, Harold Goddijn, suggested in a news release that building new roads or widening them isn’t the answer.

“The findings from the Traffic Index also show that real-time traffic information has the potential to ease congestion in urban areas by routing drivers away from gridlock, and help commuters to make smarter decisions,” said Goddijn.

Of course, that could be true, and probably is. But that approach also could be really good for TomTom’s business.



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