Bay Area Traffic Congestion Is Worse Than Anywhere in U.S. Except L.A.

San Francisco has the second-worst congestion in the United States, according to a new report. On average, a driver here with a 30-minute commute spent 83 hours stuck in traffic in 2013. Only Los Angeles is more arterially clogged.

Tom Tom, a firm based in Amsterdam that sells GPS-based navigation and mapping products, released its fourth annual traffic index on Wednesday. The survey looked at congestion levels on highways, freeways, local roads and city streets.

The index compared travel times during non-congested, or free flow, times with travel times in peak hours. For San Francisco, the congestion level of 32 percent means that, on average, a driver in San Francisco experienced 32 percent extra travel time on an average trip compared with non-congested situations at the quietest times of day. The delay per hour for a driver in a peak period was 34 minutes.

The numbers translate into lots of wasted time, motorist bile, air pollution and probably higher blood pressure.

“As the economy gets better, as more people are working, as more people have more discretionary spending, they drive a lot more,” said Michael Cabanatuan, who covers transportation for the San Francisco Chronicle, on KQED Forum Wednesday…

San Francisco, which moved up from third place in 2012, registered 48 percent congestion in the morning peak and 66 percent in evening rush hour. The single most congested day of the year was Nov. 22, 2013. Nobody knows why, although that day was the Friday before Thanksgiving week began, which is typically a chaotic period, with lots of comings and goings…. (more)

When are the citizens of San Francisco going to realize that the SFMTA is not to be trusted to fix the problem they created? Removing parking is a huge contributor to the gridlock. We need oversight and accountability and you can insist on this by signing this petition and voicing your concerns in the comments to the recipients:
Restore Parking Oversight of SFMTA


Editorial: Cars come first

editorial : calgaryherald – excerpt

City hall is badly in need of a priority reshuffle. The news that city crews were clearing snow from the cycle track downtown should raise the justified ire of every commuter who has spent an excruciating number of hours inching their way to work and back home again on slippery, snowy streets.

Thousands of people needed to get to work, to doctor’s appointments, or to other places on Calgary’s dangerous roads; yet, the cycle track is listed as Priority 1 and is cleared before many streets, just so that a handful of winter cyclists can use it… (more)

Has the transit first movement gone mad? Who benefits? Do you suppose they have spare the air days in Calgary?

Roadshow: Back-in angled parking has its detractors

Q Thanks for starting my new year off with a laugh with the column about San Jose using back-in angled parking on Stockton Avenue. What are traffic engineers smoking? The average driver can’t parallel park, let alone drive backward between two lines. Just the extra time it takes to do this will cause nothing but backups and confusion.
Stupidity at its best.
– Claude DeMoss, San Jose

A The city of Fremont tested back-in angled parking on Capitol Avenue five years ago that failed miserably. While traffic experts insist it is a safer way to park, the experiment showed that the average driver could not accurately back into these spaces.

Said Norm-The-Fremont-Traffic-Czar: “The typical driver backs up by looking out of their back window. Depending on the visibility, this can work when you are trying to fit between two cars, but it doesn’t work if there are no cars parked to guide you. We found when you try to maneuver into a space marked by stripes, as you get close to the stripes you can’t see them out of your rear window because they fall below your field of view. Probably only 5 percent of our drivers ever thought to use their mirrors when attempting to park, so they ended up parking across the lines at all angles.”… (more)