If there weren’t already enough reasons to ride a bike, here’s another: Seattle traffic congestion is the fourth worst in North America.
A new report released by Tom Tom on Tuesday, July 10, reveals that the Seattle area is ranked as the No. 4 most congested area, which is significantly higher in ranking that its previous No. 12 ranking.
With a mission to get drivers to their destination faster, greener and safer, Tom Tom captures anonymous travel time information from millions of drivers to build a more precise view of traffic flow and provide its customers with accurate route information and arrival times.
Rather than relying on theoretical models, they look at real-life driving patterns by time of day, day of the week, time of year and special events. This data allowed Tom Tom to look at peak hours and con-congested areas as well as highway versus non-highway traffic.
The data showed that congestion in Seattle has increased by 21 percent since last year, with as much as a 70 percent congestion during the evening peak. This means that an afternoon commute takes 70 percent longer than that same drive takes in free-flowing traffic. The morning commute times are on average 48 percent longer.
The report states that the average congestion on is 20 percent on Seattle highways and 33 percent on non-highways. This results in significant delays. The report concludes that the average Seattle-area driver wastes 35 minutes in traffic for every hour on the road during peak hours. This results in no less than 84 hours (!) of delays per year for drivers with a 30 minute commute.
The report also shows that Wednesday mornings and Friday afternoons are the worst times to travel, and the single most congested day was Thursday January 19, 2012, which was during the historic snowfall of the 2012 Seattle Snowmageddon.
If these statistics frustrate you, here’s a tip: ride a bike. It’s not only better for your health and for the planet, it’s also more enjoyable (than sitting in traffic) and often times faster.