Seattle-area commute times trending downward

Drivers in the Seattle area spend less time stuck in traffic than those in similar-size areas around the country, according to a report issued today by the Texas Transportation Institute.

The report finds that while commuters in urban areas of 3 million or more people spend an average of 50 extra hours each year stuck in rush-hour traffic, Seattle’s 2009 average was 44 hours per year, an improvement from 47 hours in 2007. Chicago and Washington, D.C., tied for the longest at 70 hours in 2009.

One might ask, “What does anybody in Texas know about traffic here? Let them try to go from downtown Seattle to Everett at 5 o’clock in the afternoon.” The findings, however, corroborate those of our own state Department of Transportation, which has determined that commute travel times are trending downward.

The state DOT report may be found at, the Texas report at

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