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GENERAL VALLEY NEWS

WSDOT NUMBERS SHOW LABOR DAY TRAFFIC DOWN FROM 2007
September 01, 2008



(OLYMPIA, WA) – Predictions were just about right fro the 2008 Labor Day weekend as travel numbers show just a slight dip in traffic in most locations from Labor Day 2007. Volumes on I-90 Snoqualmie Pass, I-5 north of Seattle and south of Olympia dropped slightly from 2007. However, it was here in the Sky Valley over US Highway 2 that saw the largest traffic decline, 9 percent.

One big spike upwards did come on the WSDOT Web site, with more than 75,000 users accessing the site Friday afternoon. On most days, the numbers are closer to 45,000 to 50,000.

“These users were visiting our travel pages – the Labor Day Best Times to Travel page and the Seattle Traffic page,” said Jeremy Bertrand, WSDOT Interactive Communications Manager.

The users who did visit the best times to travel page heeded the advice, with many drivers choosing to travel earlier in the morning or later in the evening.

US 2, Stevens Pass, Labor Day weekend 2008 (compared to 2007):
32,900 vehicles traveled in both directions of US 2 from Friday through Monday, a decrease of 3,400 vehicles (9 percent)

8,200 traveled Friday, with 700 (8 percent) fewer vehicles traveling this year. The biggest decrease was westbound.

7,800 traveled Saturday, with 980 (11 percent) fewer vehicles traveling this year
8,100 traveled Sunday, with 690 (8 percent) fewer vehicles traveling this year
8,800 traveled Monday, with 1,100 (11 percent) fewer vehicles traveling this year.

The majority of the decrease was westbound, which averaged 60 fewer vehicles per hour between 8 a.m. and 11 p.m.

NOTE: Construction for the Peshastin Interchange east of Leavenworth may have influenced Monday’s westbound drop in traffic.


I-90 Snoqualmie Pass 2008 Labor Day travel weekend (compared to 2007):
196,300 vehicles traveled both directions of Snoqualmie Pass between Friday and Monday, a decrease of 4,000 vehicles (2 percent)


55,000 traveled Friday, a decrease of 2.6 percent

52,000 traveled Monday, roughly the same as 2007, with the majority of drivers heading west after noon.
1,500 fewer vehicles traveled over the pass on Friday
4,400 fewer vehicles traveled over the pass Saturday

Roughly the same number traveled over the pass on Monday
Note: Traffic heading westbound over Snoqualmie Pass on Monday experienced 5 to 9 miles of back up between 2:30 and 8:30 p.m.

Olympia to Chehalis (I-5 Thurston/Lewis county line) compared to 2006:

270,800 vehicles traveled in both directions of I-5 from Friday through Monday, a decrease of 5,400 vehicles (2 percent)

79,700 traveled Friday, with 970 (1 percent) fewer vehicles traveling this year.
67,700 traveled Saturday, with 950 (1 percent) fewer vehicles traveling this year.
61,800 traveled Sunday, with 400 (1 percent) fewer vehicles traveling this year.
62,600 traveled Monday, with 3,100 (5 percent) fewer vehicles traveling this year.

An incident at 6 p.m. Friday, August 29 on I-5 near exit 81 reduced traffic by about 1,000 vehicles between 6 and 7 p.m.

NOTE: WSDOT used 2006 comparison data in this location, as Friday Aug. 31, 2007 was unusually low compared to 2006 and 2008.

I-5, near US/Canada Border:
There was a malfunction in the traffic counter Saturday.

The Friday and Saturday data includes: 34,400 vehicles traveled both directions on Friday, a decrease of 1,400 vehicles (3.8 percent) from last year.
Saturday's traffic was only slightly down (1.6 percent) from last year.





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