Snoqualmie residents are getting used to seeing the small, growing city make the cut as one of the safest cities in Washington. What what they may not be accustomed to is seeing it make a list a list with the word “worst” in the title.
But that’s what happened this week when NerdWallet.com, a personal finance and education website, named Snoqualmie one of the ten worst commutes in the greater Seattle region – i.e. the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue area.
Seattle regularly ranks as one of the most traffic congested cities in the United States – so NerdWallet looked inside the greater Seattle region, using five factors to analyze the worst commutes.
- Cost of Gas – in each zip code (15%)
- Cost of Insurance – which vary depending on zip code (15%)
- Length of Workers’ Commute – length of average person’s one-way drive to work (50%)
- Amount of People Commuting Alone – percentage of people driving alone to work (10%)
- Available Public Transit – percentage of who use public transportation to get to their jobs (10%)
Looking at the criteria, it seems obvious right off the bat how Snoqualmie made the top ten for Worst Commutes in the Greater Seattle area: bus routes are very limited, which puts more workers alone in cars; Bellevue and Seattle are 20-30 miles away on average (both with their own serious traffic issues); and gas just costs more in Snoqualmie.
According to NerdWallet, only 2.5% of Snoqualmie workers use public transportation and almost 75% drive to work alone; Snoqualmie had the highest gas prices, but the lowest insurance prices, of all the top 10 cities and workers had an average commute time of 32.6 minutes, which my husband would take in a heartbeat as his commute into Seattle has increased from about 35 minutes each way to 60 minutes [often times more] during our 14 years in Snoqualmie.
Other nearby cities that made the top 10 include Duvall, Enumclaw and Maple Valley. Residents of the latter two cities also deal with SR 18 (and the antiquated 90/18 interchange) as a freeway commuting option.
The Washington State Legislature wraps up its regular session on April 26th and has yet to pass a state budget or a transportation bill to improve roads across the state, which means a special session is likely to finish the work.
Visit NerdWallet.com to see a complete list of The Worst Commutes in Greater Seattle and more details on the methodology used.