Updated 10:25 am, Tuesday, November 24, 2015Ever driven Interstate 5 through downtown Seattle?
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More importantly, have you ever done it without muttering, honking your horn or giving the one-finger salute as lanes narrow and drivers discover at the last moment that they are in an exit-only lane?
Ladies and gentlemen, you have just driven one of the worst bottlenecks in the nation.
The American Highway Users Alliance puts the stretch of I-5 from Madison Street to Lakeview Boulevard as the nation's 17th-worst bottleneck.
The report says a stretch of Intestate 90 in Chicago is the worst bottleneck. Los Angeles has six of the top 10 and nine of the top 20.
The alliance described how it came up with its study this way:
"To identify the bottlenecks, CPCS Transcom Inc. (CPCS), a management consulting firm specializing in transportation strategy and policy, utilized the latest observed vehicle speed data from the HERE/ATRI data set. This is the same data that is processed into the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) National Performance Management Research Data set (NPMRDS), which s then made available to state departments of transportation (DOTs) and metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs). The GPS probe-based data are collected from smartphones, personal navigation devices (PNDs) and vehicles. As part of the analysis, the American Highway Users Alliance and CPCS contacted state DOTs to validate the findings and better understand the nature and precise location of the nation's top bottlenecks."
The alliance says the 1.6-mile stretch of freeway in Seattle causes 1.6 million hours of delay each year. And that amounts to $45 million in lost time and almost 620,000 gallons in wasted fuel.