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Seattle micromobility a macro solution to region’s traffic congestion, report says

Nearly half of the region’s automobile trips are under 3 miles—bike or scooter instead?

The handlebars of a bike in the foreground, and the rider is clearly looking at a rainy street. Shutterstock

Micromobility has a lot of potential to ease traffic congestion in the Seattle area, according to a recent report.

INRIX, a mobility analytics and car connectivity firm well known for its traffic analyses, found that 48 percent of all automobile trips in the Seattle area are less than 3 miles and that 21 percent are under 1 mile.

That’s pretty much in line with other major U.S. cities collectively, where 48 percent of auto trips are also under 3 miles and 20 percent are under 1 mile, according to INRIX.

There are enough short-distance trips in the Seattle area, then, for vehicles such as bikes and electric scooters to make more of an impact on reducing traffic—more people taking those means fewer people taking cars.

Or at least that’s how the thinking goes at INRIX. The firm also says that more micromobility would also cut down on emissions and boost the economy that much more as fewer drivers sit unproductively in the region’s traffic.

While the Seattle area does indeed have potential micromobility-wise, other major U.S. metros have quite a bit more as measured by their shares of under-3-mile car trips. In Honolulu, for instance, 55 recent of car trips are under 3 miles and in New Orleans 52 percent. See the chart below for a deeper dive into the stats.