With booming economy, San Francisco Bay Area traffic jams worsen


San Francisco Bay Area traffic has gotten much worse in the past few months. Many think it’s because the recession is over here and jobs are plentiful. My wife and I lived in LA for years and now live in San Jose. In a traffic system like LA’s, which is perpetually near gridlock, traffic often gets much worse when school starts again in late August. Sue’s 17 mile drive to a client often took 90 minutes or more each way, and that was several years ago. I’m sure it’s gotten worse.

So far, the Bay Area primarily only has traffic jams during rush hour. Let’s hope it never gets like LA where freeways can be bumper to bumper anytime day or night for no apparent reason.

The top 6 rankings for most congested cities are, Honolulu, Los Angeles, San Francisco-Oakland, Seattle, San Jose, New York. Compounding the problem is a lack of government spending in improving highways and providing mass transit.

“We are only experiencing the tip of the Silicon Valley congestion iceberg,” said Rod Diridon of the Mineta Transportation Institute. “Since what we knew of as full employment before the Great Recession, government has been unable to invest significantly in highway capacity expansion.

He says Silicon Valley will soon bump against “terminal gridlock” like the kind that occurred in Beijing six years ago when commuters were trapped in their cars for days.