Monday, September 11, 2006


Some of the folks in the department live in Gig Harbor, and particularly with the construction of the second narrows bridge their commute has become nightmarish. Well, it will only get worse, for all of us. According to the Reason Foundation, a libertarian thinktank, the Seattle-Tacoma area has the eighth worst traffic in the country. Their conclusions:

"Washington has one city that currently suffers from severe congestion, which this study identifies as areas with Travel Time Indices of 1.18 or higher. The Seattle-Tacoma area is tied with Detroit as the 12th most congested region in the United States, with a TTI of 1.38. This means that driving times during peak traffic hours are 38 percent longer than during off-peak times.

Unless major steps are taken to relieve congestion, drivers in this part of Washington can expect to see a TTI of 1.79 by 2030. For an idea of how severe that level of congestion would be, note that this projection is significantly worse than the traffic delays experienced today in places like Atlanta, Chicago, and San Francisco. Indeed, it is even higher than Los Angeles, the most congested area in the United States with a TTI of 1.75."

Yikes. Whether or not you accept the foundation's solution (build more roads), the problem itself gives one pause. Read all the gory details here.