Once again: Traffic in the Bay Area is getting much, much worse.
NBC reports that according to the Metropolitan Traffic Commission, time spent in weekday traffic has skyrocketed by 80% between 2010 and 2016. The report breaks down the statistics even further, saying that in 2016, commuters are spending an average of three and a half minutes driving below freeway speeds (~35 mph). Compare that to 2010, where drivers spent a little less than two minutes doing the same.
The MTC's John Goodwin told ABC 7 that the traffic "is absolutely directly related to the economy and to the jobs/housing imbalance that we have in the region, that our two biggest job centers are San Francisco and Silicon Valley."
Drivers aren't alone in feeling the rush hour crunch, either. BART has long been seeing capacity crowds during commuting hours. As we said two years ago, they promised that their new, roomier "Fleet of the Future" cars would help ease the congestion, but those cars have yet to materialize during our every day commutes. That being said, they're looking to get those cars on the rails sometime later this month, with another major "release" later this year.
MTC chairman Jake Mackenzie pointed out that the vast majority of the "worst commutes" were made by folks who traveled in from the East Bay or South Bay. In the same report, he said:
Eight of the top 10 most-crowded commutes are routes to or from the Bay Bridge or Silicon Valley. The good news is that this shows the continuing strength of the jobs market in the South Bay and San Francisco. The bad news is that it shows how hard it is to balance where the region’s job centers are located and where comparatively affordable housing can be found.
The "fun" part (yeah, not really) of the MTC's report is where they rank the Bay Area's top ten worst car commutes. Go ahead and make a few educated guesses before you tuck into the mildly depressing list below, which is quoted directly from the MTC's full release.
- Northbound and eastbound on U.S. 101 and Interstate 80 from the I-280 interchange in San Francisco to the Bay Bridge’s Yerba Buena Island Tunnel.
- The westbound I-80 drive from State Route 4 in Hercules to Fremont Street in San Francisco, with congested conditions typically extending through at least part of this corridor from 5:25 a.m. to 6:55 p.
- The afternoon slog on southbound U.S. 101 from Mountain View to San Jose
- The afternoon commute on northbound I-680 from the South Mission Blvd./State Route 262 interchange in Fremont to Andrade Road in Sunol
- The afternoon drive on northbound I-880 from Mowry Ave. in Fremont to Winton Ave. in Hayward
- The southbound afternoon commute on I-280 from Foothill Expressway in Los Altos to downtown San Jose
- The afternoon drive on eastbound I-80 from West Grand Ave. in Oakland to Gilman Street in Berkeley
- The afternoon drive on northbound I-680 from San Ramon to Pleasant Hill
- The afternoon commute along eastbound State Route 24 from Oakland to Walnut Creek
- The afternoon drive on State Route 4 from Morello Ave. in Martinez to Port Chicago Highway in Concord
Honestly, the entire list reads like a listing of the Billboard Top Ten, except instead of hit pop songs, all the entries are the sounds of the clock ticking away as we waste our lives stuck in traffic. So, you know. Enjoy that.