SEATTLE — When you hear that a company created a color-coded map to display which areas of the country have the worst commutes, it may not be entirely surprising to hear that the Seattle area is deep red, not even regular red. Red, obviously, is bad.
According to EducatedDriver.org, the average resident in Seattle, Bellevue, and Tacoma will spend approximately 9.88 days commuting in 2019, which comprises daily one-way trips of 29.3 minutes and round trips of 58.6 minutes. So drivers will spend about as long driving to work as kids spend on vacation for spring break — not that knowing that helps.
To calculate the time spent in traffic, EducatedDriver.org used U.S. Census Bureau on city commute times, and then factored in average work and vacation times. New Yorkers will lose an average of 12.51 days a year and Los Angeles residents 10.25 days, so we’re in good company, or bad company, depending on how you look at it.
For some reason, companies love telling us how much time we spend in traffic, the same way a doctor brings up your weight. Recently Kirkland traffic-data firm INRIX calculated that Seattleites spent 138 hours in traffic each year, which placed Seattle congestion sixth in the nation behind Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and Boston at number one with 164 hours.
What we do with this endless supply of studies telling us how much time we spent in traffic remains to be seen. The city has tossed around numerous proposals to mitigate Seattle congestion, including congestion tolling, blocking-the-box tickets, and the general push toward transit and bike lanes.
But at least we have this handy map now, in case you want to look into moving to a part of the country that’s not completely red.
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