If all goes according to plan, Amazon employees will be able to choose between the company’s Seattle headquarters two new homes: New York City and a Northern Virginia suburb of Washington D.C.
But if Amazon recruits prefer to travel by car, they may want to consider a new report from INRIX, a mobility and connected car company based in Kirkland, Wash. Amazon’s new East Coast offices are in two of the worst U.S. cities for traffic.
Washington D.C. has the second-worst congestion in the country after Boston. Chicago is third for traffic and New York City is fourth, according to INRIX’s annual ranking of congestion in 60 urban areas.
INRIX measured the time commuters lost to traffic and the severity of congestion in each city to come up with its scorecard.
Amazon’s hometown, Seattle, isn’t much better for getting around by car. Seattle has the sixth worst traffic in the nation and the third worst in terms of the number of hours commuters lost to traffic. Seattle commuters traveling during rush hour lost an average of 138 hours to traffic in 2018 according to INRIX.
Seattle ranked ninth for traffic on last year’s report card though INRIX changed its methodology this year, making it difficult to compare the two findings.
The results don’t bode well for Seattle, which is entering an era of increased congestion known as the “period of maximum constraint.” Demolition of the Alaskan Way Viaduct and the opening of the new SR 99 Tunnel this month kicked off a years-long squeeze in which construction projects and a growing population are expected to put pressure on Seattle’s transportation infrastructure.