Seattle rush hour traffic congestion up 21 percent

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by KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on June 26, 2013 at 6:53 PM

Updated Friday, Sep 27 at 1:06 PM

A new report about congestion in the Seattle area has been released - and it's not pretty.

Kirkland-based Inrix, which tracks traffic drivetimes and habits, released its latest monthly study. It found rush-hour congestion increased 21 percent in May, compared to the same time last year. That's more than double the national average.

Drivers spent more than three hours stuck in congestion this year, 40 minutes more per month than last year. One big reason: lots of jobs are coming back as the economy improves, meaning more people on the roads.

Other details include:

  • The northbound morning commute on I-5 from Swift Avenue to James street has changed. Drivers added four minutes to the trip between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m.
  • Along I-5, drive times increased eight minutes between 145th Street to Union Street. 4 p.m. is the worst hour of the evening commute.
  • I-90 across Lake Washington has shown overall improvement, with eastbound travel times decreasing at nearly all hours.
  • Westbound I-90 travel times have improved every hours with the exception of 7 a.m., 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. There was concern these drive times would get worse because motorists would use I-90 to avoid the toll on 520.

The numbers are not good considering the busy construction and travel season in the summer.

July 5-8, State Route 99 will be closed in both directions approaching the Battery Street Tunnel and Eastbound Mercer Street in Seattle will be closed as part of the Mercer West Project.

July 13-14, WSDOT is shutting down both the 520 floating bridge and northbound I-405 through downtown Bellevue as well as re-routing westbound traffic on the Tacoma Narrows Bridge.

The "gridlock index" shows congestion rose nine percent nationally, with the western U.S. experiencing the largest increases.

Related links:

INRIX Traffic Scorecard

KING 5's Lori Matsukawa and Teresa Yuan contributed to this report

 

 

 

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