North Texas drivers spend countless hours in traffic each year, but a new study shows congestion is easing. According to INRIX, a Washington based company that studies traffic flow patterns, the nations top 10 metro areas showed big declines in traffic congestion.

In a downtown Dallas parking lot, Sheratan Johnson is walking to her car. She knows as soon as she hits the road, millions of other people in Dallas will also be driving home at the exact same time. "The traffic on a scale from 1 to 10," said Johnson laughing, "it's an 11."



Top 10 Metro Areas
Seattle                    -28%
Washington DC       -26
Boston                    -26
New York:               -25
San Francisco          -25
Los Angeles:            -24
Minneapolis             -20
Chicago:                  -17
Houston:                 -16
Dallas/Fort Worth   -13

Source: Inrix

   According to INRIX president Bryan Mistele, the numbers reflect a tumbling economy and volatile gas prices as the cause for the unprecedented decline. Dallas driver Brandon McKemy said "I'm not seeing it, I'm not seeing it everywhere. Its traffic, traffic, traffic."
   Tony Hartzel with TXDot doesn't refute the findings but said "it doesn't take long in North Texas for traffic to rebound." According to Hartzel "previous studies show congestion may flatten out but it goes up in a year or two."  Hartzel said Texas still needs to plan for its future, that means building more roads.