highways
8:23 am
Thu January 20, 2011

Seattle area traffic tied for 10th worst in U.S.

Traffic congestion in the Seattle area is tied (with Atlanta) for tenth worst in the nation. 

A decade ago, traffic here made headlines for being second worst, in annual rankings by the Texas Transportation Institute.  But, researchers found more accurate ways of measuring congestion, and Seattle’s dubious ranking dropped, as Mike Lindstrom writes in The Seattle Times:

The new research is more accurate than in the past, the institute says, because it uses not only the usual traffic volume data from state governments, but also travel-time reports by Kirkland-based INRIX, which collects speed data from thousands of private and commercial vehicles.

The newer data also accounts for a "relatively efficient" system of carpool lanes.

Traffic has also declined since the recession began. The report recognizes cities with hills and water features – also including Pittsburgh and Honolulu – tend to suffer from having fewer alternative routes.

The most congested highways are in:

  • 1. Chicago IL-IN
  • 1. Washington DC-VA-MD
  • 3. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana CA
  • 4. Houston TX
  • 5. Baltimore MD
  • 6. San Francisco-Oakland CA
  • 7. Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington TX
  • 8. Boston MA-NH-RI
  • 9. Denver CO
  • 10. Atlanta GA
  • 10. Seattle WA