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Bay Area freeway traffic skyrocketing

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The Bay Bridge is the worst offender—tsk, tsk

         By mandritoiu

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC)—a government body overseeing transit concerns across all nine Bay Area counties—released its annual report on freeway traffic Monday.

The news proved all too predictable for commuters: Congestion is up for the fourth year in a row.

As MTC spokesperson John Goodwin wrote on the commission blog:

Congestion-related delays during weekday commute periods climbed 9 percent to a record average of 3.5 minutes per commuter in 2016 from 3.2 minutes a year earlier. [...] MTC defines “congested delay” as the time spent in traffic moving at speeds of less than 35 mph.

For perspective, back in 2010 the relevant statistic was 1.9 minutes per commuter. That’s a spike of more than 84 percent.

In MTC’s rankings of the ten worst congested freeway routes in the region, the worst one was (once again) the 280 to the Treasure Island Tunnel, which eats up an estimated 14,120 hours of commute time each day due to delays.

Bay Area Freeway Locations with Most Weekday Traffic Congestion, 2016.
Bay Area freeway locations with most weekday traffic congestion, 2016
Map via

The number two spot was the I-80 heading west from State Route 4 to Fremont Street, which eats away roughly 13,600 hours in delays each day. And number three is the 101 between Shoreline and Oakland Road, at 8,290.

These were all the same three top offenders last year.

This is the latest in a string of bad yet predictable news about daily commutes since the city’s economy rebounded in 2010. In 2015 the San Francisco Chronicle found that Bay Bridge use was up 75 percent in only five years.

In 2016, the Bay Area Council conducted a poll concluding most Bay Area denizens consider traffic to be constantly getting worse.