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Traffic in D.C. Area Approaching Pre-Pandemic Levels

Traffic in the D.C. area isn’t quite at pre-pandemic levels yet, but it’s getting there, says the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments.

Regional traffic volume was basically cut in half in April 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic took hold and widespread lockdowns went into effect. But by July 2020, the volume had returned to over 80% of 2019 levels and as of this May has rebounded to almost 90%, the council said in its most recent monthly traffic analysis.

MWCOG reported the latest data showed the region’s traffic volume overall was 10.5% lower in May this year than it was in May 2019. In comparison, in May 2020, the traffic volume was down 37.5% throughout the region compared to the same month the year before.

“I’m surprised by how fast, or how much that traffic volumes have recovered,” said Tim Canan, the council’s planning data and research program director, WTOP reported.

Canan said more changes are likely as the new school year gets underway.

“When schools open up again in the fall, we will see people going back to the offices perhaps…and that’s going to cause different types of travel patterns,” he said, WTOP reported. “Certainly now, the wild card is the delta variant.”

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