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Why Seattle is one of the ‘worst cities’ for car ownership

A recent assessment of major US cities places Seattle as the ninth worst city to own a car. (AP)

A new study confirms that Seattle is one of the worst cities for car ownership.

Seattle ranks ninth out of 25 major cities for being the worst city to own a car, according to a financial website. Portland is sixth worst and Newark, New Jersey is the worst city to own a car.

Related: The six major paving projects planned for Seattle in 2017

Seattle’s ranking specifically combines slow traffic (the average driver spends 63 hours per year in traffic) and the rate of car thefts. The report says Seattle is fourth highest in the country for car theft.

Seattle traffic and car ownership

Car ownership may be difficult, locally, but Americans still love for their personal vehicles. The University of Michigan recently released a study reporting more than 90 percent of American households still see the need to own a car or truck.

Could you give up your car? Seventeen percent of Seattleites are already getting around without owning a car.

If you ask market disruption expert Tony Seba, however, Seattle traffic will experience a dramatic change very soon. He argues that the rise of self-driving cars and ridesharing services will cause a quick shift in car ownership. Seba says people will give up the costs of buying cars, insurance and maintenance, and replace it with a smartphone app that will call up a ride at the touch of a button. He says it’s a cheaper option.

As traffic gets worse, people are trying out ride sharing, buses or light rail, but aren’t necessarily giving up car ownership permanently.

About the Author

Candy Harper

Candy Harper is a traffic reporter. You'll hear her on KIRO Radio's Ron & Don Show from 3 - 7 p.m. She's a Black Diamond native and an unabashed pop-culture junkie. Her most prized possession is an autographed Jeff Cohen picture. Email Candy at charper@kiroradio.com

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