Trade Secrets: Beat the Traffic

Airborne traffic guru Paul Tosch offers tips on how to navigate jammed interstates.

By Danielle Zorn October 8, 2012 Published in the November 2012 issue of Seattle Met

Paul Tosch, the propeller-plane-flying traffic ace who, via KOMO Newsradio, has shot Seattleites’ ears full of rush hour updates for 20 years has more than just a seagull’s eye view at his disposal. He has direct radio access to every highway patrol officer. So even when he can’t scope what’s happening on the ground, a firsthand account from the officer at the scene does the trick. And he’s got some advice on how to wend through some of Western Washington’s gnarliest traffic.

1. Early isn’t always best.
Sure, leave your house before seven or after nine to miss the mess. But at the end of your workday, leaving early is not advantageous—the peak traffic jam is between four and five. 

2. Stick with freeways.
Tempting as it is to drive side streets during interstate jams, don’t bail on the “fluid” roads. When you stay on the main arterials, you avoid the gridlock found at the stoplights of minor streets.

3. Get up to speed.
Seattleites are courteous drivers, but accelerating to freeway speed while merging helps the fluidity of the already 60 mile-per-hour traffic flying by. It’s time Seattle drivers put the “you go, no you go” stereotype to rest. 

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