Baltimore drivers lose 37 hours to congestion each year, according to a recent study—ranking the Charm City #16 among US cities with the worst traffic.
How bad is Baltimore traffic?
Public health restrictions imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic eased congestion on Baltimore roads. As those restrictions are lifted, expect more traffic jams and longer commute times in the city.
Why is Baltimore traffic so bad?
Many things may cause traffic congestion, including population, infrastructure, and driving habits. Here’s the scoop on what leads to traffic congestion in Baltimore.
Baltimore has a population of around 585,000 people. Though that may sound like a lot, the city’s population has been steadily declining, reaching its lowest level in over a century.
But while the population of the city proper is decreasing, Baltimore’s suburbs have seen an influx of new residents—most notably in Howard County. If these trends continue, drivers may see fewer traffic jams in downtown Baltimore but more severe congestion in surrounding areas.
Numerous major highways run through and around Baltimore. Much of the worst traffic occurs on I-695, the Baltimore Beltway. Pre-pandemic, over 216,000 cars per day traversed the 0.4 mile stretch of I-695 southbound between Security Boulevard and I-70.
Outside the Beltway, I-95 north at Route 100 also ranks as one of the area’s worst traffic chokepoints.
The average Baltimorean drives 31 minutes to and from work each day, which is about five minutes longer than the national average. To curb commute times, the Maryland government plans to add 27 miles of highway lanes on the Beltway and I-95 north. The state also plans to add four toll lanes on the Baltimore-Washington Parkway at a cost of $1.4 billion.
How to navigate Baltimore traffic like a pro
That said, abiding by a few simple tips can help you navigate the streets of Baltimore safely and keep your insurance rates low. Here’s how:
Prepare for Baltimore traffic by updating your car insurance
No long forms, no phone calls, no hassles. The average Jerry user saves $887 a year. That’s $310 more than the average annual cost of sitting in Baltimore traffic!