Originally published in the S.F. Examiner
on December 11, 2019.
Sometimes getting out of The City is just as hard as getting in.
You know what to expect with morning traffic. It’s always bad. If you don’t get across the bridge before 5:30 a.m., it’ll take over an hour just to reach the toll plaza. But once you’re past the metering lights, it’s a race to the finish line.
The commute home, though, is a total crapshoot. Lately, there’s been construction on the bridge at night that causes a backup to the Fourth Street exit. Instead of idling in the congestion, I usually take surface streets to the First Street onramp. Me and several hundred other drivers. While it’s probably quicker to stay on the freeway, nobody wants to feel like a sucker.
When I don’t have the cab, getting home to Oakland at night can be a long, arduous journey. Add some inclement weather to the mix and things get really ugly.
For almost 10 days, it’s been raining cats and dogs. And people haven’t been behaving much better.
Traffic was a nightmare all week. Despite the constant downpours, Christmas shoppers poured into downtown from all points north, south, east and west. It was impossible to get anywhere fast, especially now that most streets in Union Square and South of Market have been reduced to one lane. City planners seem determined to punish drivers for bringing their cars downtown. Since people aren’t going to stop driving into The City, this passive-aggressive way of controlling congestion only makes it worse.
You know traffic is bad when getting through the holding lots at SFO takes less time than dropping off fares at the hotels in Union Square.
Read the rest here.
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