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Traffic

Posted on Thursday, June 5th, 2014

Dave!I have been a lot of places and seen a lot of horrible traffic. Every major US city has some traffic problems due to the sheer volume of cars and trucks and things that go on the roads. But there are definitely cities worse off than others. Los Angeles is pretty much the gold standard for horrible traffic. San Francisco isn't much better. Boston has ensnared me more times than I can count. Some of the worst traffic I've ever seen was spotted as I was trying to drive into Atlanta one day. New York is an obvious target but, to me, never seems to be as bad as people think.

But, in my humble opinion, none of these cities compare to Seattle.

Seattle traffic is hellaciously bad and in a league of its own.

Most of the reason is simple geography. The bulk of Seattle is surrounded on three sides by water... Lake Washington to the East, Lake Union to the North, and Puget Sound on the West. You can't add "ring roads" around Seattle to alleviate congestion because there's no place to put them. The rest of the problem is just the sheer volume of vehicles on the road. Auto density in Seattle is absurdly high, and no matter how the city tries fix the problem, people love their cars too much to give them up.

And the problem isn't limited to Seattle, as the traffic there bleeds out into surrounding areas as people do whatever they can to avoid driving in the city.

Which makes driving to SeaTac airport a real crapshoot.

Technically, the drive takes 2-1/2 hours for me if the traffic isn't horrible. But since the traffic almost always is horrible and you never know how many times you'll have to stop for road construction, I leave anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes early. Most of the time I'm glad I did. But today the traffic was merely "bad" and not horrible at all...

SeaTac Traffic

18 minutes to drive 12 miles is practically lightspeed so far as Seattle traffic is concerned.

And so here I am, sitting at the airport with two hours and 45 minutes to kill before my flight. If only I had known, I would have stayed in bed an extra hour.

But you just know the day I sleep in is the day that a truckload of fish overturns on the 405 and backs up traffic for an hour.

Stupid fish.

The good news is that I have plenty of time to eat at Qdoba for breakfast. Sure the line is always long but, unlike Seattle traffic, it moves fairly quickly.

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Categories: Travel 2014Click To It: Permalink
   

Comments

  1. martymankins says:

    Traffic wise, I give Boston the top place. Seattle wasn’t too bad the last few times I was in the city. Although the closer I got to the airport, it got worse.

    Salt Lake isn’t too bad. Even during rush hour, it moves pretty quickly.

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