Last year, we were told that Seattle commuters waste an average of 63 hours over the course of a year just sitting in traffic. Despite the best effort of the I-405 Toll and whatever else the region is doing, that number is going up.
Inrix recently released their list of the top 10 cities in the U.S. with the worst traffic rank in terms of average time wasted per commuter and Seattle comes in at No. 6 overall, wasting commuters 66 hours a year.
As companies like Amazon, Microsoft, and Expedia continue to bring in new employees (and their families) to the region and rising housing & rental prices continue to drive people further away from the cities, those traffic numbers are only going to get worse. At least until there's a viable public transportation alternative (Hi, ST3).
Seattle is still pretty far behind Los Angeles (81 hours) and San Francisco (75 hours) but finds itself fairly close to New York City (73 hours) and Boston (64 hours).
Perhaps timed to this announcement, a collection of the region's biggest companies (Microsoft, Zillow, Starbucks, Boeing, Amazon) as well as other interests have announced that they have started something called Challenge Seattle that's focused on improving the region's gridlock and using the resources of their corporations to make things happen quicker.