It’s a known fact that traffic in the Tampa Bay area is just plain awful. But which roadways are the absolute worst to drive? The kind that make you want to tear your hair out, abandon your car and just walk the rest of the way home?
Recently, a story circulated of Tampa’s 50 most congested roadways. That data was from 2010. So we asked the Hillsborough Metropolitan Planning Organization for more updated information.
This ranking was calculated by comparing actual traffic counts on the roads over the last three years with the amount of cars a given road can withstand for average travel times. Roads that scored above a 1.5 make for “unreliable travel times,” said Beth Alden, the Hillsborough MPO’s executive director.
The list highlights shorter sections of road so officials can “flag bottlenecks,” Alden said, or sections of road that may be poorly designed to accommodate the amount of traffic they generally have.
Take a look at Tampa’s 10 most trafficked road sections.
1. County Line Road from Dale Mabry Highway to U.S. 41
The stretch of County Line Road from Dale Mabry to U.S. 41 is just less than a mile and should take only two minutes to drive, but can be a nightmare of a bottleneck that can take more than three times that. Alden attributes the area’s heavy traffic to “a lot of development” in that area.
2. Boyette Road from Balm Riverview Road to Bell Shoals Road
Google Maps shows that a drive around 6 a.m. on Boyette Road from Balm Riverview Road to Bell Shoals Road, a distance of 2.8 miles, takes between four and seven minutes. But toggle to 8:15 a.m., around the time of morning rush hour, and that drive quickly escalates to as long as 16 minutes.
3. I-275 from Armenia Avenue to Ashley Drive
It may come as a surprise that it took three spots on this list to get to I-275. Google Maps shows that it can take only about one minutes to get from the Armenia Avenue crossing of I-275 to Ashley Drive, crossing the Hillsborough River. But that amount climbs to as much as eight minutes if you’re driving around 5 p.m.
4. Westshore Boulevard from Gandy Boulevard to Swann Avenue
Go from Swann Avenue and West Shore Boulevard to Gandy Boulevard at an off time, say, around 10 p.m., and it may only take you seven minutes. Leave around 7 a.m. and that traffic time nearly doubles.
5. Interstate 275 from Dale Mabry Highway to Armenia Avenue
This stretch of I-275 can take as little as two minutes during off times but can take three times that long if you’re traveling on it while leaving work.
6. Van Dyke Road from Dale Mabry Highway to Simmons Road
The 1.3 mile stretch of Van Dyke Road between Dale Mabry and Simmons Road near Round Lake only takes three minutes on a good day. Around rush hour, that time can go up to four minutes.
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7. Gunn Highway from Van Dyke Road and S Mobley Road
To make the 3.2 mile trip on Gunn Highway from Van Dyke Road to South Mobley Road takes about five minutes if you’re leaving at 6 a.m. Leave an hour and a half later and it might take you more than double that.
8. Hutchinson Road from Ehrlich Road to N Mobley Road
The 3.2 mile trip along Hutchinson Road between Ehrlich Road and North Mobley Road could range from five minutes to 12 minutes, based on Google Maps data.
9. Lithia Pinecrest Road from Bloomingdale Avenue to Boyette Road
This 3.7 mile drive could take you as little as five minutes at noon, Google Maps indicates, or as much as 14 minutes at 5 p.m.
10. Courtney Campbell Causeway from Eisenhower Boulevard to Memorial Highway
This roughly 0.1 mile drive doesn’t seem to take more than one minute, per Google Maps’ data. But the road has a score of 1.42, which puts it far above the "1″ number ideal for normal and reliable travel times, according to Alden.