How to Avoid Commuting Traffic in Seattle

Traffic jam on city highway with pine trees and Seattle city skyline in the distance

What would you do with an extra hour every day by avoiding Seattle rush hour traffic?

For those of you that have have work and family, an hour is a lot of time.

Imagine having time to have a decent breakfast & cup of coffee before heading off to work or coming home a little earlier than expected and get to water your garden, or read an extra bedtime story to your kids.

An extra hour each day is a lot.

How do you get that extra hour each day? Simple. USE YOUR GPS!

According to the Seattle Times in 2019, Seattle has some of the most frustrating traffic in the country. It can easily take over an hour to go 10 miles.

Why is traffic in Seattle so bad? There’s a few reasons. The population in King County has grown by 630,000 people in the last 20 years, in an area with very steep hills, waterways, and unstable soil.

With the increased population, limited land to build roads on, and outdated bottlenecks that cost tons of time, it’s worth checking your GPS to find out the Seattle morning traffic patterns.

Seattle’s traffic is amongst the worse in the country, with an average commute time of 1 hour. That includes commuting from Bellevue to Seattle, or from Seatac Airport to downtown Seattle.

That’s 2 hours a day commuting to and from work. It’s much longer if you live further south of the airport like Kent, Federal Way or Tacoma. Puyallup is particularly tough because of a bottleneck on the 167.

Many of us just hop in the car everyday and just start driving to where we need to go because we already know our way around without ever thinking about alternatives routes outside of what we are accustomed to.

This is why we waste so much precious time. In this example below from Bellevue to Seatac Airport, you can save 12 minutes by taking I-90 west to I-5 south vs the 405 with no toll.

That 12 minutes saved can easily turn into 20 or even 30 minutes saved one way.

If you drive anywhere more than 10 miles, utilize your GPS. Keep in mind SeaTac Airport to Seattle or Bellevue is approximately 12 miles and that can take 1 hours+.

Traffic varies by time of the day, traffic conditions and situations such as construction or accidents can dramatically affect your commute.

Remember that time it took you 30 minutes to go 2 miles on that stretch of 405 or 6 blocks in downtown Seattle?

If you don’t have Google Maps, Waze, or Apple Maps on your phone, install it right away and start using it.

Yes it takes adjustment to input your destination every time you drive anywhere, but that 1 minute you spend doing this can give you back 30+ minutes a day, which adds up to hours of your time.

This knowledge comes from over 20+ years in the Seattle area as a relocation expert, professional driver, and local resident.

If you found this helpful, check out our other Relocation Concierge services like help finding a home, finding a professional realtor, airport meet and greet at Seatac airport, and pet transportation. Our virtual services are free if you use our relocation certified realtor to buy or sell your home.

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