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Seattle Traffic Remains Sixth Most Congested in the U.S.

Lifestyle

Seattle Traffic Remains Sixth Most Congested in the U.S.

As per the 2018 annual scorecard by INRIX, the worldwide traffic-data firm based in Kirkland, a Seattle driver who commuted at the slowest pace would have lost 138 hours last year due to congestion.

Seattle-area traffic has become America’s sixth most congested among major U.S. cities, as per INRIX’s Annual Congestion Report released Monday night.

As per the Report, Boston traffic was the slowest among major U.S. cities, with an average of 164 hours of delays, followed by Washington, D.C., Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles, Seattle, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Philadelphia and Portland, Ore.

Seattle also has got the same position a year earlier, using different methodology. The same report mentions Everett as here the congestion lingers the most hours a day.

“If we’re to avoid traffic congestion becoming a further drain on our economy, we must invest in intelligent transportation systems to tackle our mobility challenges,” Trevor Reed, INRIX transportation analyst, wrote in the report released Monday night.

Reed suggested Singapore-style tolling to reduce congestion, Paris subway stations every 550 meters, and “bicycle superhighways” in London.

“While vehicle-based commuting is severely impaired in European cities, their overall mobility is much higher due to the diversity of mode options,” he wrote.

He also went on praising “Vision Zero” efforts to lower pedestrian deaths in New York by calming crosstown traffic, to show how solutions should be tailored to each city’s needs.

For many years, this ranking has been used by politicians, frustrated drivers, and sometimes INRIX itself to endorse highway expansions.

As of now, drives from Everett to Seattle or Bellevue can take 80 minutes. As Seattle has America’s fastest transit growth, Sound Transit needs two decades to finish a voter-approved network of high-capacity rail.

As per the report, the methodology reaching Seattle’s 138 hours delay, INRIX calculated the worst daily drive from the outer fringe of the metro area, perhaps 20 miles away, to the core and then compared that to free-flowing traffic. So, the loss to the driver is estimated at $1,932 worth of operating costs and time.

Mentioning the American Transportation Research Group’s estimate of $66 billion in urban-area losses through truck delays, it states when road demand exceeds capacity, the economy suffers.

As per the company, it collects data from 300 million devices worldwide, which include personal navigation software and state-owned vehicle counters.

Washington State is still increasing the Connecting Washington program funded by 2015-16 increases in the gas tax. The projects include a more significant Highway 520 in Seattle; an I-405 widening to add mostly toll lanes in Renton; a widening of Highway 167 sections near Auburn; more I-5 lanes at Joint Base Lewis-McChord; and the North Spokane Corridor that creates a long-awaited freight bypass but promotes sprawl.

Now the legislature, which is led by Senate Transportation Committee chairman Steve Hobbs, D-Lake Stevens, is considering carbon taxes and vehicle taxes to fund highways and environmental programs.

As per critics, congestion rankings are called propaganda for freeway-mad transportation officials.

Joe Cortwright, a Portland economist, said, “It’s probably an unrealistic expectation to believe we ought to have enough freeways that people can always go over the speed limit, or even at the speed limit.”

Last summer, state Transportation Secretary Roger Millar predicted at a convention of highway officials that it would take $115 billion, or a $2.20 gas-tax increase, to construct enough highway lanes to assure 60 mph traffic.

“Simply put, we cannot build our way out of congestion,” he said.

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