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Seattle mayor says traffic will get worse before it gets better

(AP file photo/Elaine Thompson)
LISTEN: Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan joins SMN

Traffic in Seattle is bad, and newly-sworn-in Mayor Jenny Durkan has already warned us it’s only going to get worse. But Mayor Durkan wants to make sure she isn’t blamed for the problem.

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During an interview with Seattle’s Morning News, Durkan said, “In many ways, traffic in Seattle in the next four years is going to be worse and it will not be the mayor’s fault.”

The city’s newest mayor has a range of ideas to help curb the traffic problem, from staggering work times to expanding transit options. But, apparently, Durkan doesn’t believe any of those ideas will be able to fix the problem during her first term as mayor. In fact, it’s likely going to take more than one solution.

“There’s no one thing that is going to fix it,” she said. “So we’re going to have to do a whole bunch of smaller things.”

Meanwhile, the population in Seattle and Washington state as a whole continues to see rapid growth. The top city for growth — not surprisingly — is Seattle, followed by Vancouver, Spokane, Federal Way, Kent, Tacoma, Auburn, Redmond, and Everett, according to the Office of Financial Management. The population estimate for Washington’s incorporated cities and towns reached 4.7 million in April. But populations in unincorporated areas increased by 40,600 people as well, which means more people potentially driving into work.

Durkan has mentioned several times that more needs to be done to reduce the number of solo drivers heading into Seattle.

“If we can do a better job at having fewer cars driving into the city, we will, in many ways, improve what happens in the city,” she said.

Just don’t blame her if that can’t be done right away.

Listen to the entire interview with Durkan here.

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