For the first time in years, Seattle saw a bit of improvement when it came to the city’s ranking among most congested placed to drive in the U.S. Seattle dropped from sixth to 14th in the 2019 Global Traffic Scorecard from Kirkland, Wash.-based traffic technology and data company INRIX.
According to the report, the average commuter in the Seattle region lost 74 hours last year sitting in traffic due to congestion.
The American average was a loss of 99 hours at a cost of nearly $88 billion, or about $1,377 per driver for 2019. INRIX says the average time lost by drivers in the U.S. increased by two hours from 2017 to 2019 as economic and urban growth continued to surge.
Boston was ranked as the most congested city in the U.S. with the average commuter losing 149 hours per year. Portland cracked the top 10 at No. 8, with 89 hours lost, putting it behind such cities as Chicago, Philadelphia, New York and Washington, D.C.
The INRIX report measured congestion and mobility trends across 900 cities and 43 countries. Bogota, Columbia, topped the list of most congested cities in the world, with drivers losing 191 hours a year.
“Congestion costs Americans billions of dollars each year. However, it appears to be stabilizing in some of the country’s most congested metros – with delays raising roughly three percent nationwide since 2017,” Trevor Reed, transportation analyst at INRIX, said in a news release. “The continued innovation and investment in smarter roadway management is showing early signs of progress.”
In the Seattle region, the report comes at a time when thousands of daily commuters have been removed from the congestion mix as companies have responded to the coronavirus outbreak by instituting remote work policies. The company reported last week that traffic speeds had increased as much as 10 mph on major roadways around Seattle and Bellevue, Wash., near where Amazon, Microsoft and other tech companies are based.
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