U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Washington > Seattle area
Seattle area Seattle and King County Suburbs
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Old 05-04-2014, 03:01 PM
Location: Keizer, OR
1,376 posts, read 2,786,331 times
Reputation: 1176


So I'm moving from SoCal to Seattle in June.
Lots of people tell me Seattle's traffic is comparable to LA, but I know lots of people who live around here that say it's nothing like LA. However, last time I went up there to see my friend in Everett, I took 405 because I assumed the rush hour traffic would be worse going through Downtown, but it was just as bad, if not worse.
I live in Orange County, and in most cases, we have plenty of alternate routes to avoid traffic congested areas, but since Seattle doesn't seem to have that, I would of course assume that it's worse. Although the second time I went up towards Everett, it was later afternoon, and I took 5 and the traffic wasn't as bad as when I took 405.
Rate this post positively Quick reply to this message

Old 05-04-2014, 03:10 PM
1,632 posts, read 3,611,793 times
Reputation: 1110
It's only bad when it rains, when it snows, when it's cloudy or when the sun's out.
Rate this post positively Quick reply to this message
Old 05-04-2014, 04:49 PM
1,313 posts, read 1,882,370 times
Reputation: 1987
I don't find the traffic to be anywhere near as bad as L.A. Here, traffic isn't a deterrent and doesn't factor into whether I will (or am able) to do something. I was pretty much a hermit in L.A.
Rate this post positively Quick reply to this message
Old 05-04-2014, 04:59 PM
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
36,339 posts, read 66,135,624 times
Reputation: 42122
I was just in the Bay Area for a week, and our traffic is not even as bad as there, never mind LA. If you can avoid 405 between Bellevue and Renton do so, I find that to be the worst, but nothing like you are used to.
Rate this post positively Quick reply to this message
Old 05-04-2014, 07:21 PM
Location: Wallace, Idaho
3,354 posts, read 6,289,828 times
Reputation: 3555
405 at rush hour is about as bad as it gets around here, but how bad you think the traffic is here is all relative. I've been stuck in Chicago rush hour many times, and it's worse there. I lived in D.C. for six years, and the Beltway was miserable. I got stuck in a traffic jam at 2 in the morning one time. In fact, traffic crawled pretty much anywhere you went on the evenings and weekends, whether it was a freeway or a local street. Driving in D.C. is a nightmare.

Not that traffic is great around Seattle, but as big cities go, I've seen a lot worse.
Rate this post positively Quick reply to this message
Old 05-04-2014, 07:26 PM
854 posts, read 1,046,421 times
Reputation: 504
Yes it's the worst in Washington but not as bad as real big cities others have mentioned, people simply don't understand merging in Washington or traffic signals. The road system seems to have been designed by George W. The passing lane is repeatedly used as a regular lane with complete disregard for other vehicles on the road. If it snows in Seattle do not attempt to travel. Using the ferries is the other issue. These can be delayed and what not so plan well ahead if you are on a time constraint.

Last edited by bad apples; 05-04-2014 at 07:39 PM..
Rate this post positively Quick reply to this message
Old 05-04-2014, 10:34 PM
Location: Florida
2,010 posts, read 3,263,770 times
Reputation: 2741
If you have to drive the worst routes at the worst times of the day regularly you will probably think Seattle has horrific traffic. I've lived in a small city with only one congested route that I had to drive and for me that made the place feel like LA. The reality however is that there are far worse places for traffic. Seattle is a chump compared to LA or Bay Area traffic. But as I just said, if YOU have to drive on the worst routes at the worst times you will think it is as bad as they say. The big 3 exaggerations about this area are the bad weather, the bad traffic, and the so-called freeze. I'm not denying they are there, only that people blow them up to sound 5x more ominous than they really are.
Rate this post positively Quick reply to this message
Old 05-04-2014, 10:39 PM
Location: Nashville
3,534 posts, read 5,060,386 times
Reputation: 4642
Seattle's traffic is misleading, especially compared to other metro areas. As far as the freeways go, Seattle's freeway traffic is actually not as bad as the freeway traffic in other cities.. It can be quite congested during rush hour and even weekends, but it moves. Where Seattle can be said to have much worse traffic than many other cities, even comparable to places like New York or Boston, would be driving within the city, itself; especially, during the rush hour times. I remember once I was driving from Fremont to Capital Hill via downtown during rush hour and it took me over 2 hours to just go a distance of about 5 miles. The downtown area at rush hour is horrifying and the constant construction of more apartment complexes and high rises in the downtown is only going to add to the congestion. I've driven through many large cities in the West Coast and cannot think of one, even San Francisco, where the city traffic was so horrifying. Seattle's roads are just not large enough and probably haven not changed much in over 20 years. The city is heavily congested and roads are not adequate for the number of people living in the city. So, for those who think Seattle's traffic is going to be a breeze and will be doing a lot of commuting within the city, prepare to be in for unpleasant surprise. For those who are just working in the Seattle metro or Bellevue and commuting to a suburb and not driving within the city at rush hour, the traffic is actually probably not as bad as cities as Los Angeles or San Francisco in that regard.
Rate this post positively Quick reply to this message
Old 05-04-2014, 11:03 PM
Location: Seattle area
8,529 posts, read 10,589,868 times
Reputation: 5563
It's nothing like LA's traffic.
Rate this post positively Quick reply to this message
Old 05-05-2014, 02:22 AM
Location: Seattle, WA
2,981 posts, read 4,355,730 times
Reputation: 3381
It's pretty terrible, but it's mostly reserved for rush hour. Remember, the Seattle metro region has an estimated population of 3,500,026. LA city proper alone has 3,800,000 million people alone, with 38 million in the region. SoCal has huge populations traveling around which causes long backups, whereas the Seattle region is far smaller and mostly has bottle-neck issues.

However, the city of Seattle itself has pretty bad traffic during the day mostly due to major structural issues:

-Its terrible street layout. Seattle has a bastardized street grid, with random dead-ends and 5-way intersections. Just take a look at a map and it looks like someone had a seizure when designing our streets.

-Bridges. Not including the bridges which cross Lake Washington over to Bellevue, Seattle has a total of 4 bridges that all traffic must cross in order to travel to the Northern/Southern half of the city. This causes natural bottle-necking.

-Tiny roads. Seattle was designed around streetcars and wagons, not cars. The roads are tiny. Many roads are 2 lanes streets, meaning if someone driving in front of you needs to make a left turn, be prepared to either finagle your way around him or wait for ages and allow the light to turn red. A dedicated lane for left turners in this city are diamonds in the rough.
Rate this post positively Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.

Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply

Loading data...
Based on 2000-2020 data
Loading data...

Hide US histogram

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Washington > Seattle area
Similar Threads

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2021, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top