Denver commuters each spent about 36 hours in traffic in 2016

Overall, that placed Denver 21st out of 240 cities in the United States.

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Denver seen from the Rocky Mountain Arsenal, Feb. 12, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

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Denver seen from the Rocky Mountain Arsenal, Feb. 12, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

On the bright side, those 36 hours per person happened during peak congestion, according to a report from Inrix Inc.

I know that doesn’t sound like much of a bright side, but peak congestion only represented 8 percent of total driving time. So most of the time, Denver is cruising. 

Overall, that placed Denver 21st out of 240 cities in the United States.

Before you celebrate the improvement from previous rankings, keep in mind that the study’s methodology has changed, reports Curbed Seattle. Inrix told them that traffic, like last year, has gotten worse year over year, not better.

Provincialists in the room may wonder whether you could instead celebrate the fact that we’re spending less time in traffic than Seattle, with their 56 hours in congestion. Again, I’d advise against it.

Unlike Denver, where daily commutes alone went up last year, only 30 percent of Seattle’s daily commutes into downtown happened alone in a car.

And as Denver Director of Transportation Crissy Fanganello pointed out, Denver and Seattle are growing at similar rates.