Seattle’s Sucky Traffic: Now Suckier than Ever

Breaking news Seattleites: our traffic congestion sucks. I mean, we all knew that, but apparently now it’s a little more official.

INRIX, a “leading international provider of traffic information and driver services” released its first month-to-month traffic scorecard report today. According to their findings:

“Comparing April 2012 to April 2013, Seattle’s congestion has increased 16 percent and is the 17th biggest mover in the year-to-year comparison. Seattle remains the eighth most congested city in the U.S. and the 34th most congested city in the world.”

Nice hustle out there, team! Breaking down the numbers for Seattle doesn’t provide much optimism for residents who hope to get home on time: the average Seattle driver spends 33.7 hours in traffic annually, and the most congested hour of the week is Friday at 5 p.m., when it takes 42 minutes to get home on average. Apparently that’s only about three minutes longer than your average Tuesday or Wednesday commute.

“We see increased congestion on the I-5 and I-405 corridors. People are headed to Seattle and Bellevue to take these growing high-tech jobs,” said Jamie Holter, INRIX traffic analyst, who thinks it’s no surprise Seattle is a big mover.

Not that the traffic is really news to anyone who’s tried to get anywhere in Seattle, but Holter thinks congestion going up means good things for our fair city because INRIX looks at “gas prices, unemployment rate, and congestion levels to predict what’s coming next for the Seattle/Bellevue area.”

The silver lining in all this? According to the report, the average gas prices are $3.93, down from $4.30 a year ago. So sure we’re sitting in our cars for longer, but maybe it’s costing us a little less.

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