In an incredible upset, Houston has swept through the brackets of March Madness and taken the title.
It's not the Coogs, and it's not the basketball championship.
But if you're wondering who would win the tournament of having the worst traffic of all the cities hosting March Madness games this year, wonder no more: It's us!!
TomTom, who makes GPS devices, has put up brackets with the host cities of the 2010 tournament squaring off against each other to see who has the worst traffic. Houston gets a first-round bye and then breezes its way to victory, vanquishing Spokane, New Orleans in the Final Four and Salt Lake City in the title match.
Really, it wasn't much of a contest. The company measured "longest traffic jams," which it defined as a situation where "drivers could travel at only 70 percent or less of the posted speed limit, meaning on average an hour long trip included 20 minutes or more of significant delays." In Houston, that meant an average 8.5 mile backup on Highway 6, mostly between Westpark and the Northwest Freeway.
Other cities could only hope to hit 8.5:
The top host cities after Houston with the longest traffic jams are: Salt Lake City (6.9 miles average daily backup on UT 154, especially between UT 201 and W 7800 S); Jacksonville (4.5 miles average daily backup on Atlantic Boulevard between Southside Boulevard and the Atlantic Ocean); San Jose (4.1 miles average daily backup on North 1st Street between CA 237 and Interstate 280); and Spokane (3.2 miles average daily backup on North Division Street between N Newport Highway and the split at N Ruby Street).
And that wasn't all for Houston.
Houston's traffic congestion is particularly bad. Beyond Texas 6, Westeimer Road, the West Loop, the Northwest Freeway, the Southwest Freeway and San Felipe Street all have long daily average backups that extend between 3.1 miles and 7.3 miles in length.
Hey, it's a March Madness title of some sort. Guess we should accept it humbly.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.