Seattle Ranked 10th in Nation for Horrible Commute Times

Comments

1
Traffic: the biggest reason not to live here
2
i got a new job 7 blocks from my house. i took the freeway the first day.
3
The most surprising thing about that graphic is that the region's shortest average commute is for those living in--drum roll please--downtown Bellevue and some adjacent zipcodes like Medina. Times there are actually even lower than in downtown Seattle or Capitol Hill. Seattle neighborhoods like Ballard and West Seattle perform even worse than proper suburbs like Kirkland and Redmond and about as bad as relatively far out places like Lynnwood and Woodinville.
4
My sympathy for supercommuters (and I know a lot, especially back in Atlanta) is really tempered by the fact that an awful lot (though not all) of them have decided that they have to live so far out in order to be able to afford housing, when in fact they choose to live that far out in order to have a particular size/type of housing.
5
The solution is VERY CLEAR. Build MORE roads! Remember petroleum will be cheap and plentiful for ever and ever. Electricity will be plentiful for ever and ever. No need to consider anything but the car.
6
@4 Yup. I have a friend who just bought house in the middle of nowhere (far, far north of Seattle) because it's more space than she could afford here and - you guessed it - she has a big backyard. She will now be spending somewhere around 1/6 of her life in a car getting to or from work, but I guess that just doesn't matter to some people.
7
Whoa, that's a pretty accurate map - it predicted my commute time from Ballard perfectly at 25 min. That's up 15 min. from what it was in 2001.

Us Ballardites have noticed for a long time that commuting to work from Ballard is strictly forbidden - either on buses (routes eliminated) or in cars (no timed lights) or on bicycles (no burke-gilman extension). Please add another 3 stoplights and bring us to a standstill.
8
"likely to be middle class (people who make less than $40,000)..."

That should probably read "more than $40,000".
9
@7 and stop driving thru Fremont, ok? Take the Ballard Bridge like you're supposed to.
10
It's been common for decades for mega-commuters to only go home for the weekends (many fly home). It seems a few have chosen to waste their lives driving.
11
Whoa whoa whoa, 7,600 people commuting from San Jose to Los Angeles?! I can't really get my head around that, and not just because of the distance.

I've have the easiest goddamn commute for almost ten years and I've appreciated it every damn day.
12
Note that the top 4 cities for supercommuters are Houston, Dallas, Phoenix, and Atlanta--all boomtowns that have plenty of single-family housing in-town, where rents really aren't that high (compared to older cities on the coasts), and are surrounded by seas of McMansion suburbs where you can get a LOT of house for not much money.
13
@8 you're right--in cities with a high cost of living like Seattle (and really, most cities), 40k doesn't doesn't work out to buy you middle class amenities. but both studies classify >40k as "high income."
14
1. it's completely wrong by a factor of 2 on my commute. by bus its 45 in, 50 out.

2. yes, people DO commute to downtown Seattle from Indianola. every day.

3. i met a guy who commuted every day from Cle Elum. left the house at 4:30 am.
15
@3. The drive from West Seattle to downtown is a nightmare, but the bike ride along Alki is a joy. We even have a passenger ferry. Not so for Lynnwood.
16
When the City closes roads around Mercer, they have to adjust the streetlights. 15 minutes lost today. Obviously, the lack of fortitude with SPD is reason #1 to hate McGinn, but the complete inability to flow traffic through downtown is #2. It's complete laziness.
17
@3,

I wouldn't say it's surprising. Back when I lived on Capitol Hill, my bus commute was generally between 30 to 45 minutes every day in *good* traffic. My coworker who lives in Kirkland? Her commute was 30 minutes. Whatever you may say about the 'burbs, they're designed to get people in and out quickly, unlike the hell that is crosstown traffic in any city.
18
I hope Grant Cogswell is reading this online from his bookstore in Mexico City, and laughing his ass off at all you McIver supporters.
19
I drive 10 minutes to work, past alki beach and toward westwood. this has been my commute for 5 years now (before that it was like 20 mins). I could never do the morning rush hour again, I would off myself!
20
These posts always bring out the "my-commute-is-only-5-minutes" braggarts -- as if anyone cares.
21
As a single mother of two teen age boys, I cannot afford to live in Seattle unless I cram us into a two bedroom apt (I did for several years in the jxn). I can ride my bike faster then drive my car at heavy port times. My children don't fit on my handle bars, in fact they are much bigger then me at this point. And yes they have their own bikes and use them. I drive trolleys for Metro. Like many of the Muni drivers. WE can no longer afford to live in the cities we work. It isn't just those trading a mega mansion for a gas loss.
22
"But building roads doesn't actually create less road density" but you know, that's kind of the point. If you don't build them, well it increases density no? As much as Seattle is trying to fight urban sprawl (yeah I had a good laugh as well) it isn't going to stop because you build more apartments. You ever buy anything you don't want? Yeah that apply's to living spaces as well.

I'll say this, businesses are partly to blame. There really is no reason for Microsoft or Amazon to have large centralized campuses. Businesses should be spreading offices around the region to limit the commute. Hell Microsoft just bought skype. Invest in outer centers such as Everett, Tacoma, Kent so people won't need to travel to the 520 corridor for work.
23
@4 I second this, but feel that there are sometimes other factors at play besides just housing size. I found this study interesting because I am a formerly from Seattle and now living in Cleveland, OH area, which is another area found to have long commute times in the study. Cleveland is an even more extreme example than Atlanta or other cities of where cheap housing is plentiful within walking or biking distance of downtown. Professionals working downtown generally choose to live in far away suburbs not really because of housing size/quality (which is not as much of an issue here with neighborhoods full of single family homes right outside of downtown) so much as a perceived (and sometimes very real depending on the neighborhood) danger of crime living in urban Cleveland, as well as the abysmal quality of public schools in Cleveland for those with children.
@17 We have the same issue in Cleveland. I live in a lower middle class neighborhood and commute into a gentrifying "hip" poor neighborhood (similar to Columbia City). It takes me 20 min on bike and almost 40 min on public transportation to get there. Workers commuting from the second and third ring suburbs can get to downtown in half that time on express buses despite the fact that it is three or four times the distance. Its very disheartening to think that the regional transit authority is essentially rewarding workers for living in suburbs and commuting to Cleveland, as the lack of property tax base in Cleveland is what has caused most of its financial problems over the past 40 years.
24
@4 I second this, but feel that there are sometimes other factors at play besides just housing size. I found this study interesting because I am a formerly from Seattle and now living in Cleveland, OH area, which is another area found to have long commute times in the study. Cleveland is an even more extreme example than Atlanta or other cities of where cheap housing is plentiful within walking or biking distance of downtown. Professionals working downtown generally choose to live in far away suburbs not really because of housing size/quality (which is not as much of an issue here with neighborhoods full of single family homes right outside of downtown) so much as a perceived (and sometimes very real depending on the neighborhood) danger of crime living in urban Cleveland, as well as the abysmal quality of public schools in Cleveland for those with children.
@17 We have the same issue in Cleveland. I live in a lower middle class neighborhood and commute into a gentrifying "hip" poor neighborhood (similar to Columbia City). It takes me 20 min on bike and almost 40 min on public transportation to get there. Workers commuting from the second and third ring suburbs can get to downtown in half that time on express buses despite the fact that it is three or four times the distance. Its very disheartening to think that the regional transit authority is essentially rewarding workers for living in suburbs and commuting to Cleveland, as the lack of property tax base in Cleveland is what has caused most of its financial problems over the past 40 years.
25
The problem with more roads is: they fill up. Then the scream for more roads, so roads are added, they fill up, etc. Adding roads or lanes does NOT work. They ATTRACT MORE CARS...it's a fact. That's why modern-day urban planners try to find OTHER ways. Roads, lanes...do nothing but APPEAR to solve AND the short-term sham of a fix is paid for by the people. It's pretty much a waste of bucks and you only end up with concrete taking over your cities. Quality of life goes down. Waste for tax payers.