Little Elm Battles Worst Commute in Texas

Study finds Little Elm commuters on the road more than most Texas drivers

The daily commute can be a nightmare, but drivers in the town of Little Elm have it worse than than most. 

A study from On Numbers found that Little Elm commuters spend more time driving home from work than any other Texas community their size.

Weldon Chumbley has lived in Little Elm for 80 years. The town is no longer the quiet, farm town where he was born and raised. Chumbley said he embraces the growth, but the traffic that comes with it leaves him speechless.

"I don't really know what to say," Chumbley said.

The 80-year-old is now retired and hardly leaves home, but he said it's not by choice.

"It takes too long to get form here to Dallas, from here to Frisco, from here to Denton," Chumbley said.

He's not alone.

"Getting back in to Little Elm is always a pain, even just going across town to like Walmart and getting back home. It takes usually 30 minutes when it's usually a 10 minute drive," said Little Elm resident Tencia Penaloza.

A study done on daily commute times found that Little Elm commuters spend more time on the road than any other Texas community with 10,000- 50,000 people.

"I am not terribly surprised by it," Little Elm Interim Town Manager Doug Peach said.

Peach said there are two main highways that go through the town, FM 423 and Eldorado Parkway. It's been difficult to keep these roads up to pace with Little Elm's growth.

"Before 2000, the town of Little Elm had a population of about 3,000 people. Today, we sit with a population of about 26,000-27,000 people," Peach said.

Both FM 423 and Eldorado Parkway are being expanded and are are under construction. Peach said it will take a few years to complete the projects but progress is being made.

More than 45 other North Texas were ranked On Numbers' small-town commuter list.

More: On Numbers in The Business Journals

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