Is your freeway commute getting better?

State says traffic congestion dropped by 12% in 2008 due to recession, highway improvements

Traffic congestion on Bay Area freeways fell last year because of the economic recession and highway improvements but motorists will still see backups in some of the familiar places, transportation officials said Wednesday.

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission and Caltrans District 4 said the daily number of vehicle hours of delay due to congestion in the nine-county region dropped 12 percent in 2008.

It was the first reduction in traffic congestion since 2003.

Bay Area motorists experienced 142,400 vehicle hours, equivalent to more than 16 years, of delay during the morning and afternoon commute periods on an average weekday in 2008, transportation officials said.

It was the lowest region-wide total since the 135,700 hours in 2005 and nearly 20 percent less that the 177,600 hours registered at the height of the 2000 high-tech boom.

The morning commute along westbound Interstate Highway 80 to the Bay Bridge Toll Plaza retained its ranking as the worst congestion hot spot with an average of 7,800 daily vehicle hours of delay, the transportation agencies said.

But even traffic delays along this corridor fell almost 8 percent in 2008 from 8,450 hours of delay on an average day in 2007.

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Like this comment
Posted by DL
a resident of Danville
on May 28, 2009 at 8:25 am

It's logically the recession, far more than highway improvements.
Take a look around with all the layoffs and man hours cut on many jobs.
Keep in mind with gas going back up, most folks are going to be "wise after the event."

Like this comment
Posted by Another Gatetree Resident
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on May 28, 2009 at 9:29 am

I also believe more companies are endorsing the "teleworker" concept. That helps freeway congestion also.

Like this comment
Posted by YaYa
a resident of Livermore
on May 28, 2009 at 4:36 pm

My commute is much better, but I am a Pleasanton "cut-through" commuter: Santa Rita over to Stanley. Can't wait for the Stoneridge extension to be built and if you don't like it then maybe you should have stood up against the second Bart station when the money should have been spent extending the line to Livermore!

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