MapBox animated a map of Washington-area traffic for the week of Thanksgiving, using data from INRIX.

On their blog, Eric Fischer writes, “I was expecting the greatest congestion to have been on the Wednesday evening before the long Thanksgiving weekend, but it looks like Tuesday was when the roads were actually the busiest.”

I’m not sure this is actually so unexpected; the roads in this map are all ones commuters use heavily. Tuesday was a regular work day for many people, plus a lot of people would be traveling out of town on top of that. Wednesday the federal government dismissed early and many people just take the day off or their employers don’t expect them to work.

It would be interesting to see a similar map of roads between metro areas and whether the same pattern held or not. Or how the Tuesday in this animation compared to the Tuesday before. Within a metro area, does commuting (where most people are going somewhere within a few hours) actually dwarf holiday travel?

What else do you notice on the animation?

Tagged: maps, traffic, video

David Alpert is Founder and President of Greater Greater Washington and Executive Director of DC Surface Transit. He worked as a Product Manager for Google for six years and has lived in the Boston, San Francisco, and New York metro areas in addition to Washington, DC. He lives with his wife and two children in Dupont Circle. Unless otherwise noted, opinions here are his and not the official views of GGWash or DCST.