Worst Traffic Spots in Seattle

Avoid these nightmare spots if you can, or bring a book-on-tape and make the most of the crawl.

It usually feels like the worst traffic spot in Seattle is the one you’re stuck in, but during peak traffic hours (6–9 a.m. and 3–6 p.m.), SDOT says these locations officially rack up some of the most stop-and-go traffic—sometimes minus the go. Check out King-5’s Jam Factor app (king5.m.mlnwap.com) and WSDOT traffic cameras (wsdot.wa.gov/traffic/seattle) for up-to-the-minute views.

1. Denny Way, between First and Fairview avenues

2. I-5 through downtown

3. Intersection at First and Columbia that leads to S.R. 99 on-ramp  

4. Downtown on-ramps to I-5 at Yale Street  

5. Sixth Avenue between James and Columbia streets

6. Mercer Street from Seattle Center to I-5

Also, we asked WSDOT to tell us where the biggest backups will be in 2012. So here's what you have to look forward to in the coming year:

The Viaduct shutdown may be in our rearview mirrors, but the construction bypass will continue to have cars crawling on the Viaduct through SoDo until late 2015.

Work continues on the "Mercer Mess" this year, bringing weekend shut-downs, partial street closures and traffic re-routing to South lake union.

North of Seattle, lane widening and adding four new bridges on State Route 522 will have an impact on drivers in Snohomish County, including skiers heading to Stevens Pass. Rock blasting and daytime closures will begin this spring; construction is expected to continue for the next two years.

And to add more excitement to Eastside commutes, construction on the replacement State Route 520 floating bridge begins this year, bringing with it more lane modifications and weekend closures.
For more information on these and other projects, visit wsdot.wa.gov/projects