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January 2020

News In Brief

January 6, 2020

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Seattle took the second spot in a new ranking among cities across the country with the worst commutes, according to a story in the Seattle PI. According to the study from Apartment Guide, people in Seattle lost 138 hours a year due to traffic congestion in the city. The cost of congestion per driver in Seattle was $1,932, according to the study. The report also looked at the cost of gas per gallon, which came in at about $3.54 in Seattle and the average monthly price of public transportation, which was $112.50. According to 2018 data from the U.S. Census bureau, the average time commuters spent getting to work in Seattle was 28.4 minutes. The census found 44% of people who commute to work in Seattle drive alone in a car, truck or van and about 7% carpool to work. Nearly one-quarter of people use public transportation to get to work in Seattle and another 12% walk to work, according to the census. Seattle has several public transportation options, but the study pointed to Interstate 5 and the downtown ramps, which see a lot of congestion during rush hours in the city and helped push Seattle into its ranking as the second-worst city for commuters. The city that ranked No. 1 among the 62 cities ranked was Los Angeles. Other cities that made the ranking included Washington, D.C., New York City, Chicago and San Francisco. Some of the cities that ranked at the bottom of the list included Tulsa, Oklahoma; Wichita, Kansas; and Memphis, Tennessee. On average across the U.S., commuters spent about 27 minutes getting to or from their workplace. To conduct the study, Apartment Guide ranked the 62 U.S. cities in INRIX's 2018 Global Traffic scorecard. It ranked the cities with the worst commutes based on hours lost in congestion, cost of congestion per driver, average price of gallon of regular gas and average monthly public transportation costs.



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A new study has confirmed what most local people here already believe - that Washington is the all-around best state in the nation, as reported by KOMO News.

The report, by U.S. News & World Report, ranked every state based on more than 70 metrics - including health care, education, economy, opportunity, infrastructure, crime prevention and natural environment - to generate a final ranking for each. Washington's overall ranking came out on top, according to the study. Specifically, the Evergreen state was ranked fourth best for health care, fourth best for education, third best for its economy and second best for infrastructure. Washington ranked lower in some other categories, such as 22nd best for fiscal stability, 19th best for opportunity and (oddly enough) only 14th best for natural environment. But the cumulative result of the individual rankings put the state on top. New Hampshire was ranked as the second-best state overall, followed by Minnesota at No. 3, Utah at No. 4 and Vermont at No. 5.

Hawaii was found to be the best state for health care, Massachusetts was best for education, Colorado was best for its economy and Oregon was best for infrastructure.

In other categories, New Hampshire was tops for opportunity and crime prevention, Tennessee was tops for fiscal stability and Rhode Island was ranked No. 1 for natural environment. At the bottom of the list, Louisiana was ranked as the worst state overall. It was followed by Alabama as next worst, Mississippi as third worst, West Virginia as fourth worst and New Mexico as fifth worst.




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Seattle is one of America's best college cities, according to a new report released last month. The report, by personal finance website WalletHub, ranked more than 400 U.S. cities based on 31 key indicators of academic, social and economic growth potential. Seattle ranked No. 6 overall and came in at No. 3 among large cities. Specifically, the Emerald City was tied for first place in nightlife options per capita and was among the top 10 cities for "social environment." Seattle also ranked well above average in several other key categories, including quality of higher education, city accessibility and lowest brain drain. The city got its lowest marks for "wallet friendliness" - meaning that the combined costs of tuition, housing, meals, entertainment and overall cost of living in Seattle is one of the highest in the country. The nation's five best college cities, in order, are Austin, Texas; Orlando, Fla.; Scottsdale, Ariz.; Tampa, Fla.; and Ann Arbor, Mich., according to the survey. Portland, Ore., was ranked as the nation's 67th best college city; Pullman, Wash., was ranked 102nd best; and Bellingham, Wash., was ranked 113th among the 415 cities.




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Seattle ranked seventh on a list of the cities across the country making the most progress toward sustainability, according to a new study and reported in the Seattle PI. The study, from by CommercialCafe, ranked the top 50 U.S. cities making green progress based on a series of metrics including energy-related CO2 emissions reduction, the percentage of commuters walking or biking, air quality improvements and the share of environmentally focused jobs in the city. Seattle's ranking in the top 10 came in part due to the increase in the number of commuters in the city who walk or bike to work. The city has seen a steep drop in the number of commuters who drive alone to work since the start of the decade, the study finds, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. "With vital bike connections in progress and new housing slated to open near public transit and employment centers, the Emerald City is sure to see an even bigger boost in walking and biking commuting," the study said. The study also makes note of strategies the city has put forth to "mitigate urban heat islands" and policies relating to "plans for distributed energy systems." The city has also seen an increase in the share of buildings that are LEED-certified. Seattle ranked behind cities including Washington, D.C. -- which came in at the top of the rankings -- and was referred to as the "greenest lantern in the land." New York, Denver, Boston and Los Angeles also ranked among the top five cities making green progress. To conduct the study, authors looked at research from this year's green policy report, released by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, which ranks cities based on energy efficiency policies. It also drew data from several other sources, including the U.S. Energy Information Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency. A study released last year by WalletHub, a personal finance website, ranked state in terms of energy efficiency and found Washington ranked among the top 10 in terms of auto-energy efficiency, but it paled in comparison when ranked by home-energy efficiency. In that category, according to the study, Washington came in 27th.