Vehicles travel along Interstate 495 in Morningside, Maryland, on May 19. (William J. Ford/The Washington Informer)
**FILE** Vehicles travel along Interstate 495 in Morningside, Maryland, on May 19, 2019. (William J. Ford/The Washington Informer)

As D.C.-area jurisdictions begin easing coronavirus restrictions, traffic on roads has increased accordingly, says the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments.

The lockdown and subsequent social distancing and teleworking measures contributed to a 50% drop last year from 2019, and while D.C.’s traffic is far from pre-pandemic levels, roads in neighboring Montgomery and Fairfax counties are rapidly crowding again, says Tim Canan, the council’s director of planning data and research program.

Traffic across the metropolitan region has jumped recently by 25%, Canan said, WTTG-TV (Channel 5) reported.

Pre-pandemic traffic levels may return “once we all feel safe that the public health threat of the pandemic is over,” he said, adding that commuters should be flexible in their approach to going places because “we are all going to be traveling differently.”

“During the pandemic, our habits changed,” Canan said, WTTG reported. “We got a bit more comfortable with online ordering so more delivery trucks, schools are still adjusting, more patterns with school buses…we don’t know what full form it will take.”

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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