The Mercer Mess. Just mentioning it sends shivers down the spines of Seattleites who really need to the I-5 from Queen Anne or South Lake Union (or vice versa). When Mercer Street was built in the 1950s, it was meant to be a temporary solution to work around I-5 construction. That temporary solution never got a solution of its own and over the years the congestion along this road during rush hour is the worst in the city without fail.
The city has spent roughly $74 million trying to improve the Mercer corridor. Those improvements have included opening up Mercer Street to two-way traffic, widening the road and sidewalks, and providing bikeways to make it easier for cyclists an reduce conflicts.
According to a new report by TomTom (via PSBJ), all of these improvements have so far left traffic flow nearly unchanged along The Mess.
TomTom’s data says that, between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m., congestion has improved along Mercer Street from Elliott Avenue to Interstate 5 by a whole two seconds since 2014. Woof.
The city has more work planned for Mercer, including a $1M project to improve traffic light timing, but even then they admitted this will not have much impact on commute times.