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Study: Seattle traffic fourth worst in nation

If it feels like you’re sitting in traffic a lot more these days, a new study confirms it.

GPS maker TomTom says Seattle-area traffic is fourth worst in the nation, with local drivers spending an average of 83 hours per year stuck in traffic delays.

The fourth annual traffic index report by the Dutch company, released Wednesday, finds local drivers are delayed 34 minutes every hour during peak traffic periods. Thursday is the worst day of the week during both the morning and evening commute, the study says.

The study finds the least-congested morning commute is Friday, while the least-congested evening commute is on Monday.

Los Angeles again ranks worst for traffic nationwide, with drivers spending 90 hours a year stuck in traffic delays, followed by San Francisco and Honolulu.

The study used GPS-based measurements of traffic, comparing travel times during peak periods of congestion with travel times measured when roads were flowing freely. The difference was expressed as an average percentage increase in travel time for each city.

The study found Los Angeles had a 36 percent congestion level, followed by San Francisco, 32 percent, and Honolulu, 29 percent.

They were followed by Seattle, 27 percent; San Jose, 26 percent; New York, 26 perecnt; Miami, 24 percent; Washington, D.C., 24 percent; Portland, Ore., 22 percent; and New Orleans, 22 percent.

The least congested cities were Kansas City, 9 percent, and Indianapolis, 10 percent.

The report examined traffic congestion on local roads and city streets as well as highways and freeways.

Seattle-area traffic ranked eighth worst in all of the Americas, the study says, with Rio De Janeiro and Mexico City topping the list.

About the Author

Josh Kerns

Josh Kerns is an award winning reporter on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM. He covers everything from May Day riots in Seattle to the latest Boeing news. Email Josh at jkerns@kiroradio.com

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