TomTom released its annual Traffic Index today, and the good news for Seattle drivers is that congestion levels did not increase from a year ago.
The bad news is that traffic did not improve in Seattle, either.
TomTom published its Traffic Index 2016 today, and Seattle again tied for fourth-worst among U.S. cities for overall congestion levels, behind Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York. Cities like San Jose, Honolulu, Miami, Washington D.C., Portland, Ore., and Chicago followed.
Seattle’s traffic caused a 31 percent spike in extra travel time in 2015, TomTom’s data shows, which is identical to 2014. Specifically for rush-hour evening commutes, Seattle had the second-worst congestion in the U.S. with a 75 percent increase in travel time.
TomTom noted that Seattle drivers who typically spend one hour driving each day are wasting 148 hours per year due to congestion.
It’s no secret that Seattle’s traffic is bad. While it continues to be one of the fastest-growing cities in America — in large part due to the booming tech industry — the infrastructure isn’t quite there to handle a larger population.
Even the mayor is having traffic issues himself, arriving a bit tardy for a broadband Internet event on Monday in downtown Seattle.
“Thank you, that was embarrassing,” Murray told the crowd. “I came from Capitol Hill and got stuck in traffic.”
Compared to other growing cities worldwide, Seattle’s transportation infrastructure ranks among the bottom. The city is making an effort to expand its light rail system and will invest nearly $1 billion over the next decade to improve transportation. City planners are also seeking the help of Challenge Seattle, a new non-profit led by former Gov. Christine Gregoire that aims to bring the public and private sectors together to solve issues related to transportation and education, among others.
You can check out TomTom’s full methodology here for its Traffic Index rankings.