REPORT: Congestion conditions continue to improve on Cy-Fair area roads

Vehicles travel on Hwy. 290 in Houston. (Shawn Arrajj/Community Impact Newspaper)
Vehicles travel on Hwy. 290 in Houston. (Shawn Arrajj/Community Impact Newspaper)

Vehicles travel on Hwy. 290 in Houston. (Shawn Arrajj/Community Impact Newspaper)

Congestion decreased on several major Cy-Fair roads between 2018 and 2019, leading to drops in the total number of delay hours and the estimated cost of congestion, according to data released in December by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute.

The TTI released the data as a part of its annual ranking of the most congested roadways statewide. Because the data only covers 2019, it does not reflect any drops in congestion caused by the coronavirus pandemic, TTI officials said in a press release.

Two segments of road in the Cy-Fair area that made the top 50 based on 2018 data—Hwy. 290 between Hwy. 6 and Beltway 8 and FM 1960 between Hwy. 290 and Hwy. 249—both fell outside of the top 50 under the 2019 data, with the stretch of Hwy. 290 falling outside of the top 100 entirely.

The FM 1960 segment fell from No. 38 on the list in last year's report to No. 54 on the list this year, making it the most congested road in the Cy-Fair area. The Hwy. 290, formerly the most congested in Cy-Fair, saw a steep drop from No. 33 last year to No. 137 this year, according to the report.

The institute uses speed data and traffic volume information to calculate the total delay hours on each road, which are included in the report, Senior Research Engineer Tim Lomax said. The report also includes a "cost of congestion" for each road, which Lomax said looks at the loss of productivity as drivers wait in traffic as well as fuel wasted due to stop-and-go conditions.

The estimated cost of congestion on Hwy. 290 between Hwy. 6 and Beltway 8 was calculated at $12.5 million in this year's report, which was down from $31.5 million in the report from last year.

Congestion also dropped on other major roads across the Cy-Fair area, including Beltway 8 between Hwy. 249 and Hwy. 290; Hwy. 249 between Perry Road and Beltway 8; and Hwy. 6 from south of Hwy. 290 to I-10.

A few Cy-Fair area roads rose in the rankings. FM 529 from Hwy. 6 west to Stockdick School Road increased from No. 186 to No. 159. However, the cost of congestion on that road actually fell slightly between the two years, even as it rose in the overall rankings. Spring Cypress Road from Telge Road to Hwy. 249, which previously ranked outside the top 1,000, rose to rank No. 832.

The most congested road in the Houston area is the segment of Loop 610 between I-10 West and the Southwest Freeway, according to the report. The road, which occupied the No. 1 spot on the list last year, was beaten by I-35 in Austin, which claimed the top spot this year.

Find details on the all the Cy-Fair area roads that made the top 1,000 on the map below, along with data from previous years.

By Shawn Arrajj
Shawn Arrajj serves as the editor of the Cy-Fair edition of Community Impact Newspaper where he covers the Cy-Fair and Jersey Village communities. He mainly writes about development, transportation and issues in Harris County.