10 Most Road-Rage Inducing Highways in DFW

Every year or so, the Texas Transportation Institute releases its Urban Mobility Report, which looks at the impact of traffic congestion on major metropolitan areas in the United States, and every year or so the report's release prompts a barrage of critiques from transportation wonks whose livings aren't tied to building new highways. Indeed, the very premise of the Urban Mobility Report — that traffic congestion is the most important/only factor in assessing a city or region's mobility — is inherently flawed. That's not to say that the TTI's work is useless. Even if one doesn't buy the premise, some of the underlying data are solid, and while they don't provide compelling evidence for TTI's main policy recommendation (i.e. that we need to build more highways), they do a good job of capturing driver misery.

For Texas, TTI provides a detailed breakdown of the characteristics of some 1,800 highway segments. In the interest of finding the most misery-inducing stretches of highway in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, we'll discard TTI's go-to metric — a dollar figure purporting to show the cost of congestion based on how many cumulative hours people sat in traffic — and instead turn to what the TTI calls the Commuter Stress Index, but which we'll rechristen the Road Rage Score. The Road Rage Score is a straightforward metric, the ratio of average travel time during rush hour for the peak direction of travel (e.g., toward downtown in the morning, the opposite direction during the evening) to the travel time under free-flow conditions. So a Road Rage Score of 1.5 means that a trip that would take 30 minutes under perfect conditions would actually take 45. In other words, it's a numerical representation of the aggravation one feels while trapped, barely moving, in a seemingly endless line of cars.

And so, we present, DFW's most maddening highways:

10. Northeast Loop/I-820 from I-35W to SH 183
Tarrant County
Length: 7.2 miles
Road Rage Score: 1.96

9. I-345 from Woodall Rodgers to S.M. Wright Freeway
Dallas County  Length: 2.3 miles
Road Rage Score: 1.99

8. Central Expressway from LBJ Freeway to Woodall Rodgers 
Dallas County
Length: 9.1 miles
Road Rage Score: 2.02

7. LBJ Freeway from Stemmons to Central Expressway
Dallas County

Length: 8.7 miles
Road Rage Score: 2.03

6. Woodall Rodgers from Central Expressway to Beckley Avenue
Dallas County
Length 2.4 miles
Road Rage Score: 2.13

5. Stemmons Freeway from LBJ to Northwest Highway
Dallas County
Length: 2.9 miles
Road Rage Score: 2.18

4. Dallas North Tollway from Bush Turnpike to LBJ
Dallas County Length: 6.2 miles
Road Rage Score: 2.25

3. I-35W from U.S. 81/US 287 to SH 183
Tarrant County
Length: 5.8 miles
Road Rage Score: 2.4

2. Stemmons Freeway from John Carpenter/SH 281 to I-30
Dallas County

Length: 4.6 miles
Road Rage Score: 2.46

1. I-35W from SH 183 to I-30
Tarrant County

Length: 4.4 miles
Road Rage Score: 2.59
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Eric Nicholson
Contact: Eric Nicholson