The 2010 National Traffic Scorecard, an annual congestion report published today by INRIX Corporation, shows Seattle as the country’s only major urban area that did not see congestion get worse last year.
The INRIX report shows nationwide congestion increased slightly. In 2010, the nation’s Travel Time Tax (INRIX’s congestion index) was 9.7 percent, an increase from 8.9 percent in 2009.
Washington’s strategic construction projects and other Moving Washington programs are yielding improvements, the INRIX report notes. Moving Washington is the Washington State Department of Transportation’s (WSDOT) three-part strategy for congestion that includes adding highway capacity strategically, operating the system efficiently and managing demand. These strategic investments reduce congestion, keep people and commerce moving and strengthen the economy.
For example since the October 2009 opening of an additional lane on northbound I-405 between Coal Creek Parkway and I-90, morning commuters have cut 48 percent of their travel time, from 43 minutes in 2008 to 22 minutes in 2009.
The INRIX report complements WSDOT’s own travel-time findings published in its most recent quarterly report, the Gray Notebook.
In the December 2010 edition, WSDOT finds:
· Travel times began to drop in 2008 and continued to fall through 2009.
· 2010’s morning commute travel times were slightly longer than the previous year, while travel times in the afternoon commute were generally shorter.
· Nearly all of 2010 travel times dropped below 2007 levels – even in the morning rush.
WSDOT’s Gray Notebook also provides quarterly updates on worker safety, workforce levels and training, highway incident response, Washington State Ferries, Amtrak Cascades and project delivery.
WSDOT also publishes its own congestion report, providing a more detailed travel-time and traffic-delay analysis, including 52 Central Puget Sound Region and two Spokane-area commute routes.