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Report ranks Seattle traffic as fifth worst in nation

Seattle traffic continues to give drivers headaches. (K King, Flickr Creative Commons)

A new report from TomTom ranks Seattle as the fifth worst city in the United States for traffic.

Washington drivers ranks among top 10 worst by new study

The report ranks congestion in cities by the percent of travel time that traffic adds to that same drive in uncongested conditions. Seattle’s 31 percent “congestion level” puts it in with some elite company — in terms of terrible traffic.

In total, Seattle drivers spend an extra 16 minutes in their cars per 30 minute trip in the morning, and 20 extra minutes for the evening commute.

The only U.S. cities ranked ahead of Seattle, in order, were Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and San Jose. Seattle is the only one of those cities with a population under 800,000. Los Angeles, New York, and San Jose all have over one million residents.

TomTom also ranked traffic in North America and globally — Seattle’s ranking in North America was equally as grim at eighth. The city places in the top 100 worldwide — 95th out of 403 total cities.

This latest ranking tracks with a handful of dubious lists Seattle and Washington state have been included on in recent years.

New SDOT traffic report shows ‘slow death’ of Seattle driving

According to, the average resident in Seattle, Bellevue, and Tacoma will spend approximately 9.88 days commuting in 2019, which comprises daily one-way trips of 29.3 minutes and round trips of 58.6 minutes. So drivers will spend about as long driving to work as kids spend on vacation for spring break.

A recent estimate from a Kirkland traffic data firm estimates that Seattleites spent 138 hours in traffic over the course of a year, sixth in the nation behind Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and Boston.

Meanwhile, Seattle-area drivers have consistently been rated as some of the worst in the United States in numerous studies and reports.

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