Traffic numbers for Dublin – are they telling us a different story?

There was an article a couple of weeks ago in the Irish Times that repeated a story from 6 or 7 months ago. Back then I’d drafted a post about the ridiculousness of the contents, but lost it somewhere, so here we go again.

Here’s the gist of the story:

MORE THAN 3,000 extra cars are now driven into Dublin city during the daily morning rush hour period than four years ago, despite an increase in buses and the introduction of Luas.

New figures, to be put before Dublin City Council’s traffic committee tomorrow, show an 11 per cent decrease in cars entering the city each morning over the last 10 years. However since a low of 60,600 cars making the morning 7am-10am commute in 2005, the amount of car traffic has increased annually to 63,976 last year.

Think about this. How likely is it that the 11% decrease in traffic reported above was actually because between those hours the traffic was so shit that people needed to drive to work in earlier to make it to their desks on time?

So people were having to leave home earlier, get to the office earlier, have a snooze for a while in their cars maybe, and get to their desks for 9am. All to avoid the shocking traffic that was in Dublin between 7am and 9am during most of the Celtic Tiger years.

I wonder what the traffic statistics for the 6am to 7am window were like during these years. At a guess, I’d say they increased significantly.

Anyone who drives regularly around Dublin at the moment will tell you that the recession is making traffic a lot lighter these days. This can probably be combined with the massive improvements on the M50 where its now no longer quicker to go through town instead.

So if traffic is better now, then it’d make sense for people to leave it later and later to drive to work.

One colleague who always driver to work has said how she used to always leave Swords before 7am but now that traffic has improved she’s gradually left it later and later that she can now leave home some mornings after 8am and still be in work on time.

It could quite conceivably be that because these people are no longer driving driving to work before 7am, but instead waiting until later because of the lighter traffic, that is showing us this “increase” in traffic in the 7am to 10am window.

Lies, damn lies, and statistics!

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