Back-to-school traffic: Busiest South Sound school zones

It’s one of the busiest places we cover when talking traffic in the morning.

Getting anywhere to and from the South Sound during the morning commute is hard enough on a lot of people, and heading to school is no different.

Bob Pishue, a transportation analyst at INRIX, says a lot of congestion is caused by people driving to places like Joint Base Lewis-McChord or to major employment hubs like Tacoma. Schools in Pierce County add to regional congestion, so he broke down the top five busiest schools and tips on how to handle traffic in that area.

“In Pierce County, Fife Elementary School came in at number one, followed by Fife High School. Curtis Senior High was third, Sumner Middle School was fourth, and Midland Elementary was fifth. Tips may be to leave earlier or pack some patience. Unfortunately, there’s not much we can do except for drive safe and drive slower around these school zones,” Pishue said.

Despite how busy traffic may seem right now, Pishue said there’s still less traffic in general compared to pre-COVID in 2019, but schools going back to full in-person learning, and parents getting more comfortable letting their kids ride the bus play a big factor and are also contributing to more traffic around school zones.