Stuck in traffic: 5 in 6 Bay Area residents think it will never get better

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It will surprise few that Bay Area residents are increasingly frustrated — and overwhelmingly pessimistic — about traffic woes and bottlenecks in the region.

The Bay Area Council’s annual poll found that 83 percent of those surveyed, a “staggering” number, are convinced things will never improve. And those who think it’s somewhat harder or much harder to get around than a year ago has jumped to 54 percent of those surveyed, up from 37 percent in 2015…

Anyone who monitors early morning or late afternoon traffic reports in the region won’t fall out of bed when they see this data. Freeways are clogged from crowded Highways 29 and 37 in the Wine Country to U.S. Highway 101 down the Peninsula to the I-680 corridor to the Nasty Nimitz, the Bay Bridge, or almost any other major route you want to talk about. BART’s jammed with record ridership. And pretty much every other option is crammed, jammed, packed or otherwise stymied.

Some of the negative vibes are self inflicted, since 79 percent of those surveyed said they typically drive alone for commuting or running errands, up from 74 percent last year.

“We’re running out of adjectives to describe how bad Bay Area traffic is and the misery it’s causing,” Jim Wunderman, president and CEO of the Bay Area Council, said in a statement. He says the business community and public transit agencies shouldn’t accept the mess as inevitable, suggesting that new technologies, carpooling apps and intelligent transportation design has the potential to make things better.

But the public seems to have a different take, along lines of voters’ grim view of 2016 political options.

As for solutions, the Bay Area Council highlights the fact that 70 percent of those surveyed somewhat or strongly support a second BART Transbay Tunnel, although without cost and funding sources that support may not mean much…

 

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