No, you're not just imagining it — traffic in San Francisco has gotten awful. In fact, according to a newly released report by traffic data and measurement company INRIX that looks back at 2015, it's the third worst in the country. Only LA and DC have it worse these days, a little tidbit which doesn't make the 75 hours "average time wasted per commuter" last year any easier to swallow.
The worst stretch of road appears to be on I-80 between Potrero Avenue and the Bay Bridge toll plaza, which is at its most congested 8:00 a.m. on Thursday mornings with an average speed of 14 miles per hour. And it appears that when it comes to Bay Area roads, things are slowing down. The Chronicle observes that the 2013 INRIX traffic scorecard notes the average time wasted per San Francisco commuter was a lowly 56 hours.
The report states that in 2015, Los Angeles residents on average wasted 81 hours in traffic, residents of DC wasted 75 hours, residents of Houston 74 hours, and residents of New York City 73 hours.
That traffic is bad won't be news to anyone forced to deal with it daily, and those who don't work close to home or who can't take public transit are frequently left stuck behind their wheels griping about how absurd it all is (remember that guy who just moved here and then wrote an op-ed in the Chronicle saying we should all take turns working from home?). But what is causing the increase in congestion over the past few years? Unsurprisingly, the INRIX report calls out the usual suspects.
"The report reveals the U.S. faces large challenges to solve congestion issues, fueled by continued economic and population growth, higher employment rates and declining gas prices," the report summary notes. "Cities that have experienced the most economic improvement during the past year are at highest risk for consequences related to worsened traffic conditions, including reduced productivity, higher emissions and increased stress levels."
So, right. Just another reason for people to root for the tech sector to tank.