Bay Area Traffic Congestion Hits Record For 4th Straight Year

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — For a fourth straight year, Bay Area traffic congestion has reached record levels in a study done by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission.

MTC Spokesman John Goodwin told CBS San Francisco that the new report found that the average commute was 3 1/2 minutes longer than it was last year — a 10 percent jump from what it was in 2015 and 80 percent worse than in 2010.

“If you think traffic is getting worse — it is,” Goodwin said. “For the 4th straight year, the Bay Area has reached a new record for the amount of congestion endured by the typical commuter on a weekday.”

What are the three most congested freeways segments according to the study?

Topping the list is the slow grind during the afternoon commute getting on Highway 80 onto the Bay Bridge and all the way to the Yerba Buena Island Tunnel.

The second major headache for commuters is the westbound I-80 drive from State Route 4 in Hercules to Fremont Street in San Francisco and rounding out the top three is the slow go on southbound 101 from Mountain View to San Jose.

The study — which defines congestion as going slower than 35 miles per hour for 15 minutes or longer at a time — has found that westbound I-80 has become jam-packed with cars all day from 5:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

For the first time in the history of the study, there is no break in the middle of the day on the busy freeway.

Officials say the traffic is tied to the Bay Area’s booming economy and the high cost of housing which is forcing longer commutes.

“The congestion numbers rise because the number of jobs in the Bay Area is rising,” Goodwin said. “So in many respects it is a good problem to have. It’s kind of the dark lining of the silver cloud.”

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