A new national study conducted by the TomTom navigation company ranked Seattle as the fifth most traffic-congested city in the United States. The Seattle Times,
“Drivers in the metro area spent an average 89 hours of last year delayed in traffic jams, and an evening commute that should take 30 minutes at the speed limit averaged 53 minutes, the company’s data found. The quickest commutes are Friday morning and Monday evening, while the slowest are on Thursday afternoons. Congestion increased 4 percent for the year, Tom Tom said.
“These numbers are no surprise to local commuters, and they fall in line with other measures by the Washington State Department of Transportation, and the Kirkland-based INRIX data company, who both see rising congestion in the post-recession economic boom here. INRIX ranked Seattle ranked eighth-worst in the U.S., as of mid-2014.”
Seattle’s new rank renews questions as to why traffic congestion relief is not a priority for the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT). As Shift reported, Democrat lawmakers removed congestion relief as a funding priority for the state in 2007. They also created a list of six goals of transportation policy—congestion relief did not make the cut.
Last year, Republican lawmakers in the state Senate attempted to remedy the state’s lack of consideration for Washington’s working families and growing businesses. They introduced a transportation plan that includes “reducing transportation congestion” among the state’s transportation goals. Unfortunately, Democrats, backed by extreme transit groups with vested interests in ensuring that doesn’t happen, refused to participate in or support the plan.
Senate Republicans have insisted WSDOT revise its priorities to include congestion relief as part of their transportation package. Though this need reform passed with a bi-partisan vote in the state Senate, the Democrat-controlled state House has yet to act on the package. Top Democrat lawmakers have hinted their plans to hold the transportation package hostageto their tax demands.
Just another form of congestion that doesn’t bother the Democrats in Olympia.