The Seattle area held onto the distinction of having the nation’s fourth most congested roadways, in the latest edition of the Tom Tom Traffic Index.
The leaders are Los Angeles, San Francisco and Honolulu, according to the list released Wednesday. The rest of the top 10 are San Jose, Washington, D.C., New York, Portland (which broke into the elite after placing No. 12 last year), Boston and Chicago.
Motorists at the peak times in Seattle are languishing in traffic slowdowns for 38 minutes per hour driven, the city-by-city breakdowns say. The ratings were derived from on-board navigation systems in millions of vehicles, for second quarter of 2013.
Kirkland-based INRIX compiles its own Traffic Scorecard, in which Seattle currently ranks No. 8, while I-5 in North Seattle was the nation’s 11th most crowded highway corridor, as of this September.
Using the prospect of Boeing 777X manufacturing jobs as leverage, Gov. Jay Inslee has called for a special session of the Legislature to start this week, to include a highway-expansion plan that could cost $10 billion or more, in gas taxes and fees. Previous versions of the plan focused on widening clogged I-405 on the Eastside, improving the ferry system, and extending freight corridors on Highways 509 and 167 south of Seattle, while offering little if any help for I-5 within Seattle. King County Metro Transit, serving around 400,000 passenger trips per weekday, faces potentially severe cuts next year, officials say, without new or revived tax sources.