Bay Area traffic ignites backlash against boom, new poll suggests

by George Avalos : eastbaytimes – excerpt

“Beat L.A.” is a familiar refrain in Bay Area sports, but it now appears Northern California is on its way to being a rival for Southern California in an unwelcome fashion: traffic jams

Residents in the Bay Area have become discouraged about the heavy traffic in the region, with a dramatically expanding number of them indicating that traffic is worse than a year ago amid a huge surge in the local economy, a new poll released Friday by the Bay Area Council suggests.

“Bay Area residents are frustrated about traffic,” said Ruth Bernstein, senior principal with EMC Research, a firm that conducts market and opinion research. “It’s harder for them to get around. We definitely are seeing a backlash against the economic boom.”

Yet the traffic itself is but a symptom of what is going on rather than a cause, said Christopher Thornberg, principal executive with Beacon Economics

“It’s harder to get around, and it is harder to find transportation access and also access to housing,” Bernstein said…

“We’re running out of adjectives to describe how bad Bay Area traffic is and the misery it’s causing,” said Jim Wunderman, president and CEO of the Bay Area Council. “We understand residents’ aggravation with traffic, but we’re not giving up on the problem.”

Contact George Avalos at 408-859-5167. Follow him at Twitter.com/georgeavalos... (more)

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