Avoid Seattle's nasty traffic jams

Google is now predicting traffic in the future to help you avoid nasty Seattle traffic on freeways, but that is nothing compared to…

Microsoft’s Clear Flow doesn’t just tell you that traffic usually sucks on Thursdays at 5:30 (because if you’ve driven on I5 twice at rush hour, you already know that). It tells you the best route to take and it includes side street speeds in it’s analysis. It doesn’t leave it to your wits to find the fastest route – it tells you the fastest route. It is one of the smartest real products the company has created in years. Now if it didn’t ask me to finesse the address when I type in a street address and a zip code, it would hands-down amazing.

12 thoughts on “Avoid Seattle's nasty traffic jams

  1. This is probably only slightly off topic (maybe?)…

    I was in Seattle in December & I gotta say that driving there is a little weird (your thinking, “Year Right! This coming from an L.A. guy!”)

    I didn’t experience too much traffic while I was there except on one occassion (I forget what the hold-up was) and to be honest I was too busy enjoying the scenery. It’s a great city and the weather is perfect! (Though Johanna says we’re NOT moving!)

  2. I tried Clear Flow this week. It will tell you how to avoid the snags on 520, but the problem is the alternate routes aren’t really any faster. It will route you through neighborhoods where the speed limit is 25, the overall distance traveled is longer, and the stop signs are plentiful. And when you finally do get back to 520, you’re greeted by a long line of stop and go traffic creeping up to and on the entrance ramp.

    My commute sitting on 520 takes 40 minutes, my commute driving through a sampling of West Bellevue neighborhoods takes 40 minutes. It’s a neat idea, but the traffic, on 520 at least, is an unbeatable problem during certain times of the day.

  3. amazing that when Microsoft and Google does it ..it is cool and makes a splash all over, but another kirkland company is already doing it for almost 2 years. The company is called INRIX

    Have you checked out Google’s historical data? It is a joke when it says that I-405 North at Renton is green at 7:30 am. They have really bad data, and anyone who believes in that data will be sitting in traffic.

    Not everything that Google does is cool.

  4. srini@inrix: I’ve heard of Inrix, but I don’t see where I can access better maps on your site. Looks like Inrix is more of a B2B company.

    I also imagine that both of them will improve with time.

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