Tom Warne Report, 9 June 2013
Traffic is turning into gridlock as a result of the growing Bay Area economy, reaching the highest congestion levels since around the year 2000. Traffic congestion rose by 25 percent in the San Jose region between April 2012 through April of this year, and 22 percent in the San Francisco area during the same time, according to a new study released by INRIX, of Kirkland, Washington.
San Jose’s jump was the sixth biggest change in the nation. California’s third biggest city is now the seventh most congested in the U.S. and the 28th most congested in the world.
“Nothing can stop San Jose,” said INRIX Traffic Analyst Jamie Holter in a news release. “It’s not a surprise that San Francisco and San Jose are big movers. When people get jobs they start driving again. These cities are in economic overdrive and so are their freeways.”
Expansion in the region is expected to be limited to more carpool lanes and converting existing carpool lanes to express-high-occupancy toll lanes, which solo drivers can pay to use. The BART expansion into South Bay will be complete in the next few years, and many companies are paying for private buses to shuttle employees to job sites across the region.