A new study of GPS data says the section of freeway between Madison Street and Lakeview Boulevard is the 17th-worst bottleneck in the country.
A stretch of downtown Interstate 5 in Seattle, between Madison Street and Lakeview Boulevard, is the 17th-worst bottleneck in the country, according to a highway-advocacy group’s study of GPS data.
People waste 1.6 million hours each year delayed in traffic on this stretch of road at a cost of $45 million, according to the study published by the American Highway Users Alliance (AHUA), which lobbies for highway investment.
I-5 drivers are not likely surprised by this fact. The bottleneck occurs just after the intersection of two major interstates, in an urban area with a rip-roaring economy. The Washington State Department of Transportation’s recent congestion study found a small increase in driving brought a significant delay to urban roadways. From Everett to Olympia, congestion was 19 percent worse than before the recession hit in 2007.
In March, the Tom Tom navigation company ranked Seattle the fifth most-congested U.S. city.
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A single wreck on I-5 (and 2015 has seen several) can cause delays throughout the region.
What could be worse than Seattle’s choked roadway?
A 12-mile bottleneck of I-90 in Chicago causes about 10 times more total delay each year, according to the study.
Los Angeles continues to earn its popular reputation for hellacious traffic: Nine bottlenecks there ranked worse than Seattle’s I-5 problem; overall, the city had 12 of the top 50 bottlenecks.