Vancouver has been ranked the most congested city in Canada during a year that saw normal traffic patterns upended by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The ranking comes from the TomTom Traffic Index, a report out of the Netherlands that analyzes traffic data from 416 cities around the world.
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Vancouver held its place as the most congested Canadian city from last year, and it was named the second most congested city in all of North America.
The researchers found drastic traffic changes in 2020 compared to previous years. While cities generally held their place in rankings, overall traffic levels plummeted as stay-at-home orders and public health restrictions came into effect.
The pandemic also marked a shift away from usual rush hour traffic patterns. In many cities this year, traffic levels were higher on the weekends as people got in their cars for recreational reasons after working from home Monday to Friday.
They also noted some of the biggest travel days of the year in European cities were right before restrictions came into effect, as people tried to exit urban centres.
The pandemic could permanently change our travel habits, the report notes and questions if flexible work options could smooth rush hour traffic patterns over the long term.