FARGO, N.D. - (Valley News Live) Annoying: that's what some drivers say their morning and afternoon commutes are becoming in the FM metro. From crashes to people distracted while drive to not merging properly, it's a recipe that is pouring out on our interstates and roads.
We showed you in March some of the merging issues people face at 8th Street and I-94 in Moorhead. We wanted to see what other driving issues people face during their morning drives too. Valley News Team's Ashley Bishop drove with our Valley Today Traffic Reporter Al Aamodt while doing his 100 mile morning drive through the metro.
"They treat you like you are an enemy, as supposed to somebody else on the road that is out doing the same thing they have to do like get to work, get to school, shopping, whatever the case may be," said Valley News team's traffic reporter, Al Aamodt.
While driving the main roads and interstates between 7 a.m. and 8:30 a.m., it isn't hard to see that drivers are on a mission. During the commute Aamodt and Reporter Ashley Bishop came close to getting into accidents while merging onto I-94 West. It's a problem many viewers have sounded off about before.
"Here we go," said Aamodt as he pulled onto I-94 West from the 25th Street ramp. "Now see this guy is not up to speed, and I got another one pulling right behind me and I mean it's tight. Holy Moley. Look at that you can't even see his headlights."
"No offense if felt tight and jerky," said reporter Ashely Bishop.
"That is fair and that's the way it is driving in this town," explained Aamodt.
It wasn't just one intense moment the two experienced. They experienced what Aamodt calls the 'driving dance'.
"Like I said its a dance, now we got someone behind us and I want to get over that way, and these guys are doing 40 miles per hour," said Aamodt while driving North on I-29 in Fargo. "This guy wants to cut in. This is what I am talking about. I have had my signal lights on for a good while trying to get over."
As the miles passed and the clock ticked Aamodt and Bishop saw crashes near a school causing back ups, people not yielding when yield signs were listed and people driving with no lights during the pre-dawn hours. Driving in the FM area is different than it was just 10 years ago.
"Its not like Minneapolis, but it's busy," stated Aamodt.
According to traffic data from the FM Metropolitan Council of Governments, traffic has steadily spiked on the interstates. In 2005 on I-94 between University Drive and 8th Street there were 61,000 vehicles counted and last year more than 73,000. The transportation director with the FM Metropolitan Council says the traffic count on some of the main roads in the metro like Veterans Blvd has doubled since 2013. The increase of drivers on the road can cause crashes and stress which adds minutes to your journey.
"We have a traffic issue right here," said Aamodt while driving on Veterans passing a crash near a school. "It is right near a heavy traffic area by the school see here. See the mess over there, got traffic backed up, oh my!"
You can get the latest traffic report for your morning commute on the Valley Today every Monday through Friday.