how horrible is the commute from WS to Bellevue?

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    I’m considering a job that would require me to commute to downtown Bellevue. I could potentially work early (7 – 4) or later (9-6) and was curious about other’s experiences on this daily drive.



    I guess it depends what part of Bellevue you are talking about. I work in the Eastgate area. If I leave a little before 7 I can make it to work in about 20 minutes going straight down I90.

    I typically come home earlier in the day (around 3) and there is typically no traffic at that time. Even around 4 the traffic isn’t too bad, it should only build up around the entrance to I5.

    I really like my commute as I have had some pretty ugly commutes when I lived south.



    I work in NE Bellevue and I don’t mind my commute. If you leave early, you can definitely make it to Bellevue within 20 minutes. Coming home can be a different story, but for the most part traffic is okay. I would say it takes me 40 minutes to return home when I leave at 4pm. My husband also works in Bellevue/Redmond area and he leaves later than I, which usually makes his commute worse. If you have an option for a work schedule, choose the 7-4 for the best commute times.

    Whenever we tell people we live in West Seattle and work in Bellevue, the response is always “Wow, your commute must be horrible.” There are a handful of horrible traffic days, but I’d much rather live in West Seattle than live on the Eastside.



    I live near Lincoln park and work in downtown Bellevue and my commute is horrible. with NO traffic it takes no less than 30 minutes. with NO traffic. I have to leave before 7am on Mondays through Fridays to make it in 45 minutes. Otherwise, anytime between 7-10am takes an hour. Coming home is even worse. The entrance to I5 from 90 (to get on the west seattle bridge) is backed up and takes about 15 minutes just about anytime after 3pm. Cutting through Sodo is better but can get messed up by trains and baseball games. It’s the worst commute I’ve ever had.



    I go to Bellevue College and, this quarter, I leave Admiral and 41st at 7am. I can get there in about 20-25 minutes. However, last quarter, I left home at 10:30am and, about once per week, I could count on some tie-up between the WS bridge and I-5 that would double my drive time. A few of those instances, it took an hour to get to the college. If I have the option, I prefer leaving West Seattle before 7:30am…at the latest.



    I hate the drive I take it everyday (for 8 years now) and everyday is different sometimes I breeze right in and home others it takes over an hour to take this 18 mile drive. If you leave later than 7am you will hit traffic on West Seattle bridge. If you leave East Side later than 3:30 you just don’t know what you will hit, sports traffic, accidents or just slow traffic. It is all going to get worse when tolling starts. Find a carpool so you don’t have to do the driving all the time it is pretty stressful especially if you have to get to WS by a certain time and you just can’t make it.



    Getting to the Factoria area of Bellevue from West Seattle is a breeze most mornings if you work around 7 AM.

    Getting home was a bear most days. If there is a football game or Mariner game, it’s a mess and there is no alternate route that is faster.. even when I left Bellevue at 3:00 it took an hour + to get to WS. I did this commute between 1998 up until recently. Bellevue to WS just keeps getting worse. Good luck.



    gotta learn that bellevue street grid! i get most places in bellevue without ever setting a tire on 405. you can save a lot of time if you know the various thru routes.



    Another good alternative on the commute back to West Seattle to avoid the 90-I5 exit and on-ramp to the WS Bridge is to take the Rainer Ave S. exit, turn right on Massachusetts and make your way through Beacon Hill to Spokane St. Then, hop on the bridge from there.



    Getting to the eastside from WS is pretty slow, I agree with others that you must leave before 7:00 am at the latest to avoid traffic. Coming home is a crapshoot- you don’t know what you are going to run into. I’ve seen it get bad starting at 3pm, the worst is if you leave work at 5 pm. Game days are a nightmare, and once the sun starts rising later and setting earlier it gets slower because people can’t see through the glare. once 520 starts being tolled it will get worse on 90. At least it looks like a carpool lane is being installed going Eastbound, which might help in the morning. It’s just amazing to me how bad the traffic has been (I used to do that drive until 2004 and it was bad back then)and the state is finally taking measures to do a little bit to help it.

    Congrats on the job- I’d take it, just do the early schedule!



    I work in downtown Bellevue and it can take anywhere from 20mins to an hour depending on what time I leave WS (the early the better). Same with the drive home but it’s usually smooth sailing if I can get on I-90 before 5pm.

    Today I left Genesee Hill at 8:40am and pulled into the parking garage at 9:20am but a lot of people were headed back to work after the holiday weekend and the police were patrolling the Bus Only Lane on the bridge. So 16 miles in 40 mins.

    But traffic is relative; in Atlanta I never made my 13 mile drive to work in under an hour so this doesn’t bother me…



    I work in Overlake, have done this commute for 8 years. I work 8-4 ish (I don’t take a lunch, or sometimes work another hour or so from home). On average, it takes me 40 mins each way. This morning for instance, I left my house near the Junction at 7:40 and got to work at 8:15. That’s pretty typical for me.

    If I leave at 4, it’s 40 mins home. If I leave at 4:15, it’s more like an hour. Sometimes I drop over Beacon hill to avoid the 90-I5 exit like yamanb mentioned.

    In any case, I’m with J. I’ll deal with the commute forever rather than live on the eastside (grew up there and… no thanks).



    after a year of commuting 1.5 hours each way from bainbridge to tacoma, my 3 years of commuting from white center to b’vue were a walk in the frickin’ park. i was able to request hours of 7-4, so the drive in was a breeze and the drive home wasn’t bad so long as i left no later than 4. very helpful too was this site:

    you can check it right before you leave work and know exactly what you’ll be up against. sometimes it gets bad earlier than usual in which case it makes for a good day to log some overtime and let the traffic pass before heading home.



    I too work in Bellevue area – northeast bellevue off of 124th Ave NE and depending on the time of day it can take 25-45 minutes for commute each way. I have hooked up with others through and carpool to and from work which makes it much nicer since I don’t have to drive all the time. Saves money, takes a little effort but has been well worth the energy and I have made some great new friends over the past few years too! If anyone is interested in learning more send me an email @ Possibly looking to add 1-2 more to our carpool in the future as we have lost a few to layoffs, job change and residential move as well.



    I used to work in Bellevue and I agree with the others. If you have to leave Bellevue after 4 you are screwed. Of course this is all prior to the tolling on 520 which is sure to make I90 a parking lot even earlier than 4. It used to be that going in was cake even at 7:30 but with how bad the WS bridge is now if you leave after 7 forget it.


    lucky chick

    Would you be interested in trying a bike commute? West Sea-BV is pretty easy, and if you’ve never done it before, plenty of people here and at Cascade Bike Club can help you get started (and explain how to overcome the old excuses of “I don’t have time” and “I don’t have a shower at work”). If you’re interested.

    If not, KC Metro can help with car- and van-pooling.



    It took ME about 20 years to get from Bellevue to West Seattle. I’m not going back!



    22 mins this morning.

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