Sci-Tech

Seattle makes top 10 worst US cities for traffic as ‘period of maximum constraint’ looms – GeekWire


Traffic on Seattle’s Mercer St. during rush hour. (GeekWire Photo)

Seattle has the sixth worst traffic in the nation, according to INRIX’s annual ranking of congestion in 60 urban areas.

INRIX published its traffic report card Monday and the results don’t bode well for Seattle, which is entering an era of increased congestion known as the “period of maximum constraint.”

Seattle commuters lost an average of 138 hours to traffic in 2018 according to INRIX, a mobility and connected car company based in Kirkland, Wash.

INRIX measured the time commuters lost to traffic and the severity of congestion in each city to come up with its scorecard. Seattle ranked ninth for traffic on last year’s report card though INRIX changed its methodology this year, making it difficult to compare the two findings.

Cities with the worst traffic in the U.S. are Boston and Washington D.C., followed by Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles., according to the report. Seattle is the third worst city in the country in terms of the number of hours commuters lost to traffic but INRIX included additional metrics to come up with its final ranking.

Seattle traffic isn’t likely to improve in the near future. Demolition of the Alaskan Way Viaduct and the opening of the new SR 99 Tunnel this month kicked off the “period of maximum constraint” in which construction projects and a growing population are expected to put a greater squeeze on Seattle’s transportation infrastructure.

There are more than 60 construction cranes dotting the city’s horizon and the Seattle Department of Transportation says “work is expected to intensify over the coming months.” Megaprojects like the expansion of the Washington State Convention Center are expected to increase congestion.





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