Traffic Congestion

Oran Viriyincy

Seattle-area drivers are losing about $1,800 a year due to driving on poor roads, congestion delays and traffic crashes on roads that are unsafe, according to a new report by TRIP, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit group. The same report says drivers are wasting 48 hours a year stuck in traffic.

The report highlighted the large number of roads in the city and the state in need of repair, and the costs to drivers from things like wear and tear on their vehicles.

nateOne / Flickr Creative Commons

If you have to drive this weekend, you should plan on leaving a lot of extra time, as several major roads will be completely closed.

"Everybody is going to be touched by this weekend’s construction, whether you live in Renton or Seattle or Bellevue or Lake Stevens or Snohomish," says Jamie Holter with the State Department of Transportation.

WSDOT photo / Flickr

Tolling rates are going up on the 520 bridge this Sunday, in the first of four annual rate hikes. The 2.5%  increase will add about an extra dime to peak fees. It comes 6 months after tolling began on the bridge between Seattle and the east side.

A multiple-vehicle collision involving a semi has closed all four southbound lanes of Interstate 5 in downtown Seattle, causing an eight-mile backup.

The accident was reported at 2:14 p.m. on Thursday.

WSDOT photo

Today is the first big day for car commuters since automatic tolling went live on the 520 bridge across Lake Washington.

It’s viewed as the start of the first really meaningful data-set for people who crunch numbers behind the scenes of the State Department of Transportation.

So far, the commute has pushed traffic to the south, with the I-90 bridge seeing more congestion … and more room created on 520, where drivers now have to pay to cross.

WSDOT

As we all know, during a holiday weekend we have to prepare for more traffic. 

To help plan your weekend driving, The State Department of Transportation has released a report on the worst predicted travel times. For the most part, traffic should be the heaviest today and Monday, when people will probably leave or come home from their holiday celebrations.

The Monday morning commute in Seattle was congested but moving slowly as drivers dealt with "Viadoom," the closure of the Alaskan Way Viaduct, one of the city's main north-south highways.

West Seattle Blog

For anyone who thought they were anonymous driving the city streets of Seattle, the truth is you’re being watched.

And while this might normally be upsetting, the all-seeing cameras positioned over freeways, bridges and intersections may soon be a lifeline during the impending nine-day closure of the Alaskan Way Viaduct.

Oran Viriyincy / KPLU

Beer drinkers at Oktoberfest in Fremont, Huskies and Seahawks battling it out on the playing field, marching bands in the streets ... all of which means drivers will be edging in and out of one traffic jam after another, warns the Seattle Department of Transportation.

TUMWATER, Wash. — The Washington State Patrol says a semi-truck driver fell asleep and crashed into a state Transportation Department truck on Interstate 5 about 5:30 a.m. Thursday near Tumwater.

No one was in the state truck and the semi driver suffered only a scratch on an arm. Southbound lanes of the freeway are blocked and rush hour traffic is diverted on side roads.

The Department of Ecology was called to help clean up about 50 gallons of fuel that spilled from the semi-truck.

A 13-vehicle crash on I-90 in Bellevue during the morning rush hour has injured seven people, including one child in critical condition at a local hospital.

Alexandra Cohen / Flickr

The Washington State Patrol says a woman who stopped her car along Interstate 5 and tried to corral a family of ducks and ducklings caused a multi-vehicle accident that disrupted southbound traffic for nearly three hours.

Flickr

You can expect region-wide congestion this weekend, the state Department of Transportation says, because State Route 520 will be closed between Montlake Boulevard in Seattle and Interstate 405 in Bellevue.

And, the city of Seattle will close the Interstate 5 ramps to and from Mercer Street.

Oran Viriyincy / Flickr

Traffic congestion in the Seattle area is tied (with Atlanta) for tenth worst in the nation. 

A decade ago, traffic here made headlines for being second worst, in annual rankings by the Texas Transportation Institute.  But, researchers found more accurate ways of measuring congestion, and Seattle’s dubious ranking dropped, as Mike Lindstrom writes in The Seattle Times:

Gary Davis/KPLU

Get Ready for Brrrr


Are you ready for snow? There's a possibility you'll see some late Sunday or early Monday in northwest Washington. The north Olympic Peninsula, the San Juan Islands and Whatcom County have the best chance for snow.  Conditions may bring it south to the Seattle area.