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Old 05-05-2014, 04:44 PM
 
Location: Seattle area
8,694 posts, read 10,769,217 times
Reputation: 5830

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Quote:
Originally Posted by thatguy950 View Post
Having lived in both cities I can say LA traffic is worse, but Seattle's is FAR, FAR more frustrating. Mostly it comes down to the drivers (or lack thereof) in Seattle.

"Going up the bridge rise on the west channel of I-90, no one is in front, better hit the brakes"
"Going up Kennydale Hill, no one in front of me, better hit the brakes"
"Merging, traffic is going 60+, better merge with my brakes"
"Need to change lanes, and I have 1.5 miles to do it, open space in front of the car next to me...well I better hit the brakes instead of the gas"
"One rain drop, wide open road, better hit the brakes"
"Left lane, open road, going 10mph under...hmmm too fast, I better hit the brakes"

People here are allergic to the gas pedals, this is what causes most of our traffic. I have never seen people use their brakes so often, and drive so slowly and in such a confused manner. No left lane etiquette, no ability to merge, clueless, passive-aggressive (oh this guy may want to go in front, better make sure he can't even though I've been driving slow in the left lane), and just plain dumb behind the wheel in Seattle.
I completely agree with you. This is what causes 50% of Seattle traffic. I can also add - when exiting, cars start to slow down to 35-40 mph 2 miles before the exit.
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Old 05-05-2014, 05:24 PM
 
9,965 posts, read 16,191,183 times
Reputation: 9193
Quote:
Originally Posted by kaonevar View Post
Yep. This.

During non-rush hour times, it's not too bad, but during rush hour, it has taken me 1-2 hours to go 5 miles many, many days of the year. It's not just an occasional thing. Having lived in LA and Seattle, I think Seattle is worse because we don't have alternate routes any better than the clusterfsk we're trying to avoid.
Yes, that's exactly why it's so bad. As someone who drives to Seattle a lot(and occasionally on north to Vancouver)--the biggest issue is that there's no way to go around any gridlock. I drive to Bellingham and Vancouver ends up in stop-and-go gridlock (even when I figure I'm early or late enough to beat rush hour). It's mainly just a mess because of the tight geography of the area. In comparison Los Angeles or the Bay Area is bad, but there's often several routes to choose from that might be better(unless you're stuck going across a trans-bay bridge in the Bay Area).
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Old 05-05-2014, 05:40 PM
 
Location: NYC
7,311 posts, read 12,402,003 times
Reputation: 3714
This'll solve it: White House opens door to tolls on interstate highways, removing long-standing prohibition - The Washington Post
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Old 05-06-2014, 08:43 AM
 
Location: Issaquah WA
218 posts, read 384,329 times
Reputation: 200
If you come from a smaller city you'll think it's horrible. Everything is relative. I have not had the same experience with Seattle downtown. I can get on 5 North or South within 10 minutes of leaving work on 3rd Ave every day, even though EVERYONE else is trying to do the same. I get to my daughter's school in north Bellevue within 25 minutes regardless, or home to Issaquah within 40.

Mercer Island is a maddening bottleneck bc they drop the speed limit to 30 and everyone thinks that means stop. I despise MI for this.

For me it just doesn't compare to what I dealt with in Charlotte NC every day, let alone Atlanta or NYC. It's not even close. It took us nearly 3 hours to get to JFK a few weeks ago, at 2 in the afternoon.

But people here are mysteriously, completely incapable of merging. It's baffling. I've never seen such a huge group of people who literally can't do such a basic thing.
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Old 05-06-2014, 11:48 AM
 
Location: Seattle
458 posts, read 878,424 times
Reputation: 286
I come from horrible traffic cities...NYC and DC but find the traffic here often much more frustrating to the point where we won't do play dates with my daughters friends who live in Mt Baker, Columbia City, Seward Park on the weekdays...in the DC area particularly you could bushwhack multiple ways to get home without getting on the highway...loads of back roads but that doesn't exist here because of the water.

So the answer is that we and a lot of our friends who are in Phinney, Ballard, Wallingford etc... do plan our lives around the traffic.
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Old 05-06-2014, 02:41 PM
 
Location: Keizer, OR
1,376 posts, read 2,808,433 times
Reputation: 1176
No, that'll just make it worse
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Old 05-06-2014, 02:46 PM
 
9,638 posts, read 25,720,403 times
Reputation: 5347
Quote:
Originally Posted by beautifulseattlehomes View Post
I come from horrible traffic cities...NYC and DC but find the traffic here often much more frustrating to the point where we won't do play dates with my daughters friends who live in Mt Baker, Columbia City, Seward Park on the weekdays...in the DC area particularly you could bushwhack multiple ways to get home without getting on the highway...loads of back roads but that doesn't exist here because of the water.

So the answer is that we and a lot of our friends who are in Phinney, Ballard, Wallingford etc... do plan our lives around the traffic.
Yup. I've endured godawful New York and LA traffic, which was frustrating and horrible. Maybe they're worse than what we've got. But if you're in Seattle, and have to go out in that stuff during rush hour, it doesn't matter if other cities have it worse. Sitting in traffic is soul killing. And I-5 is just unpredictable. It can be completely jammed at 2 PM on a Saturday in either direction. 405, between Bellevue and Renton, might be slower, but it's more predictable, and it's generally better on weekends than I-5 is. I-90 gets horrible. 167 going north from Kent weekday PM is often crawling. 99's become worse. West Seattle Bridge? Creeps along. 512/Meridian in Puyallup is the worst I've been in locally. I've been there three or four times, and every time I've been there, traffic just doesn't move. Maybe it's fine if I'm not there
So...is our traffic really that bad? Depends on what you're used to, and what you're able to tolerate. If you've lived here for a while and seen it get worse, it's different than if you're just arriving from DC or LA or New York.
I've lived here for a while and seen it get worse. I try to schedule things around traffic, but that's not always possible. Some idiot's always going to smash into someone because the sun came out, or because it's snowing, or because it's raining.
So my answer is : The traffic is that bad, for me, because I'm too often in it. And it doesn't look like it's going to get better anytime soon.
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Old 05-06-2014, 07:06 PM
 
Location: Seattle, Washington
3,733 posts, read 7,223,187 times
Reputation: 2021
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kalex View Post
Mercer Island is a maddening bottleneck bc they drop the speed limit to 30 and everyone thinks that means stop. I despise MI for this.
No kidding. Crossing Mercer Island is quite the ordeal these days, and what really gets me is that by the time you make it to the other side, traffic immediately opens up again. Always makes me wonder why it was horrible going over the island itself. The variable speed limit zone there is just so stupid. It was bad enough before. Literally though, come out of the tunnel on the other side, and suddenly you're moving along just fine again. It's just like magic! Infuriating.
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Old 05-06-2014, 09:14 PM
 
2,806 posts, read 2,767,675 times
Reputation: 3151
I found Seattle traffic to be horrid, not just the highways, but the suburbs and side roads too, like bothell-everett hwy, and etc...the area, plain and simple, imo, is a nightmare, traffic wise, 7 days a week. It also seems to get worse and worse rapidly, each year. I think the quality of live no longer exists in Seattle, in part, due to the congestion and traffic. I couldn't wait to move.
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Old 05-06-2014, 09:59 PM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
36,884 posts, read 67,222,071 times
Reputation: 43183
Quote:
Originally Posted by cjg5 View Post
No kidding. Crossing Mercer Island is quite the ordeal these days, and what really gets me is that by the time you make it to the other side, traffic immediately opens up again. Always makes me wonder why it was horrible going over the island itself. The variable speed limit zone there is just so stupid. It was bad enough before. Literally though, come out of the tunnel on the other side, and suddenly you're moving along just fine again. It's just like magic! Infuriating.
It's the same reason as the the sun, snow, or rain causes slowdowns, the tunnel. Anything out of the ordinary and people slow down. It was not that way when we came here in 1992. Really, it's lucky for the traffic that we have a lot of cloudy dry days, that's the only time the traffic moves well.
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