While we enjoy Denver with all it offers in the way of culture, entertainment, and recreation, there’s a downside: the traffic. Because the city is so widespread and sprawling—over 150 miles of metro area—we all sit in traffic jams from time to time. And of course we have the notorious intersection of I-25 and I-70 that locals call the “Mousetrap.”
There are ways to avoid idle time behind the wheel, however. Here are some tips and tools to help you beat the traffic in Denver.
- Avoid heavy commuter traffic. If you must commute daily, alter your travel times; leave home 30 minutes earlier each day, for example.
- Take an alternative route. Avoid I-25 and I-70 by using I-76, I-270, or E470; E470 is a toll highway with lighter traffic than the interstates. Highways are also a good option: to bypass I-25, try Hwy 85 or Hwy 287.
- Avoid I-70 westbound on Friday afternoons as well as Saturday and Sunday mornings, when travel to the mountains is high. Not surprisingly, I-70 eastbound is congested on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, when folks are returning to Denver.
- Know the “bests” and “worsts.” The worst traffic day is Friday, with the heaviest traffic from 5 to 6 pm; the best traffic day is Monday, with the best travel hour being 6 to 7 am on Friday.
- Always check traffic conditions before you leave. Use any of the tools listed below for up-to-date information.
Use your computer, tablet, or smart phone to get current traffic and road closure information. Here are some resources:
*FYI: Google Maps does a very good job of delivering reliable traffic information in real time when you’re charting a route through Denver.