It's not just you! Traffic is back, especially in the afternoon

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- If you've been out and about, you've noticed a few more cars on the road.

According to the latest data ABC13 gathered from Houston TranStar, although the amount of daily traffic is down compared to last year, you may not notice at certain times of day.

Using radar technology, TranStar continuously measures traffic volumes on the Katy Freeway. The average number of cars there in early September was still down about 24% compared to the same time last year. But for more than a month, weekday afternoon traffic has been close to last year's levels on many freeways.

For example, the average speed on your I-45 North inbound morning commute is still up 76%, meaning with fewer cars, you've got a faster drive. But there are more cars out during the afternoon commute. Speeds outbound are now up only about 7% close to normal levels.

Analysts estimate that system-wide, traffic is still down about 10-15% compared to pre-COVID-19 levels.

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