In its annual study of traffic congestion, the Washington State Department of Transportation indicated that congestion levels in 2011 were 16% higher than in 2009, when levels were at their lowest. Traffic had increased 3% percent from 2010 to 2011.
Other findings from the 2012 Congestion Report, released this week, showed that every Washington resident driving on public roads traveled 50 fewer miles in 2011 than they did in 2009, and 88 fewer miles than in 2010. Ultimately, these traffic delays cost drivers and businesses $780 million, a 16% percent increase from 2009.
On the other hand, the department found that high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes continue to be more reliable than general-purpose lanes, carrying more people in 2011 than in 2010.
The annual report provides an in-depth analysis of traffic conditions along 52 central Puget Sound and two Spokane-area commuter routes. Various other transportation systems from across the state are also examined.