How Bad Is Rochester Traffic?

Rochester drivers saw an average of 11% increase in congestion during rush hour in 2021.
Written by Olivia Rose
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
Drivers in Rochester enjoy mild traffic conditions—with only an 11% average congestion rate during morning and afternoon rush hours. 
If you’re looking for a proper city without the headache of daily traffic,
Rochester, New York
might be the place for you. 
Car insurance
is diving into Rochester traffic—how bad it is, how to avoid it, and how to make sure you have the right insurance for driving in Rochester. 
Spoiler alert: the traffic isn’t so bad. You’re in for a treat with Rochester!
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How bad is Rochester traffic?

According to the
TomTom Traffic Index
, Rochester had an 11% congestion rate in 2021. That means that during congested times, drivers saw only an 11% increase in driving time (on average). 
During the 8:00 am to 9:00 am morning rush hour, drivers saw an average of a three-minute time increase for a 30-minute trip. In the 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm evening rush hour, drivers saw an average increase of six minutes per 30-minute trip

Why is Rochester traffic so bad?

The better question might be: why isn’t Rochester traffic bad?
Well, the city’s highway system was designed to accommodate a large population—one much larger than the 211,000 residents Rochester ended up with. Basically, drivers in Rochester can enjoy a highway system designed for a few hundred thousand more residents than actually live in Rochester. 

Major chokepoints

Even though the traffic is at worst lowkey in Rochester, some drivers hate driving in any congestion whatsoever. Here are some of the areas to avoid during rush hour if you don’t want to deal with the city’s mild traffic: 
  • Main St
  • Andrews St
  • I-490/ Inner Loop
  • Monroe Ave
  • East Ave
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How to navigate Rochester traffic like a pro

Any amount of congestion can increase your likelihood of a car accident which can
cause your car insurance rate to shoot up.
For the sake of staying safe and saving money, here are some key tips for avoiding accidents during congestion in Rochester. 
  • Steer clear of rush hour. Rush hour in Rochester is 8:00 am to 9:00 am and 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm. If you opt to hit the highways outside of these windows, you’ll be set to avoid the most congested times. 
  • Use an app for accurate traffic updates. Apps like Waze or Google Maps give you real-time updates on road blockages, closures, accidents, and anything else that could interrupt your commute. 
  • Chill out. The key to staying safe during traffic anywhere is to stay calm and focused. Avoid
    distracted driving
    by keeping your music at a moderate volume, keeping your eyes on the road ahead, and avoiding cell phone use. 

Prepare for Rochester traffic by updating your car insurance

Now that you’re all set for driving in Rochester traffic, you might as well seal the deal by
updating your car insurance policy
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The short answer: no. Rochester sees very little congestion and residents claim that the city is super easy to get around.
The best time to drive in Rochester is any time other than 8:00 am to 9:00 am or 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm as these are Rochester’s rush hours. At its worst, you’ll only see moderate congestion during rush hours in Rochester.
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