[photopress:wroll07.jpg,thumb,alignright]I just found a nifty tool on the Washington State Department of Transportation’s website that allows you to calculate your commute time if you live in the Seattle area. If you are interested in how long it should take you to get to/from work from your potential new home, this will give you a pretty good feel of how long it will take to drive!
This got me thinking about all kinds of commute-related issues for Seattle area residents. Here is some of the commute-related info I dug up:
For comparison purposes, King County Metro’s Trip Planner allows you to estimate how long it will take to commute via transit. Not only that, but the trip planner site will also tell you what routes to take!
Finally, Metro also provides a commuting cost calculator that allows you to estimate the cost of driving vs the cost of commuting via transit. Of course, the calculator is biased toward convincing you to take transit, but it is none the less interesting to see all the costs of commuting.
The Future of Commuting to Downtown Seattle
My recomendation? If you are thinking of relocating to Seattle for work (and you are going to be working Downtown) then make sure that there is a convinient transit line that will get you to downtown. The daily grind of sitting in Seattle traffic will likely wear you down. Especially as traffic conditions in Downtown Seattle are likely to get much worse before they get better.
Why do I think traffic going to get worse before it gets better? There are a bunch of plans in the future to improve the transportation network in Seattle. Ten years out, things should be much improved. But until then:
- a major highway running through downtown (Alaskan Viaduct) will need to be rebuilt
- a monorail line will be built in Downtown along 2nd Avenue
- the I-5 reconstruction project calls for rebuilding parts of I-5 through Downtown
- the transit tunnel (that runs under downtown) will be closed to construct a light-rail line forcing hundreds of buses a day on to Downtown Streets
- SR 520 will need to be rebuilt
(Dustin’s bias: As an employee of DKS Associates, I’ve been paid to do transportation consulting for three of these five projects)
Am I missing something?
The good news is that a lot of money was just allocated to pay for some of these improvements, so while there will be some down time in the near future, the long-term prospects look very good for Downtown Seattle!