Bay Area drivers have some notoriously bad daily commutes, but if you’re looking for the stretch of freeway with top bragging rights, look no further than the Interstate 80 corridor through Richmond and Berkeley. Caltrans ranks it as the worst traffic in the Bay Area.
Now, Caltrans and regional transportation groups are kicking off an $80 million dollar project to improve that stat – not through new freeways lanes but through technology.
Weekday or weekend, the traffic is almost constant between the Carquinez Bride and Bay Bridge – as I found when I tried to get to the midday press conference about that very subject on Friday.
The coincidence wasn’t lost on Bijan Sartipi, director of Caltrans District 4. “There are 290,000 cars that travel through this corridor every single day. And every single what you see behind me does occur, which is congestion,” he says.
The numbers don’t lie – add up all the time lost by each car and it’s more than 7,500 hours of delay each day, not to mention the added air pollution. But with San Francisco Bay on one side and buildings on the other, there’s no room to widen the road.