Bad Economy Good for Bay Area Commute

Not really a good sign of the times, but we'll take what we can get.

By Jessica Greene
|  Thursday, May 28, 2009  |  Updated 5:50 AM PDT
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Bad Economy Good for Bay Area Commute

David McNew

Some Bay Area freeways are still jam-packed during commute times, regardless of job numbers.

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Still dragging yourself to work by car? Your commute to work in the Bay Area is easier thanks to longer lines at the unemployment office.

While it's still a pain in the rear to sit at the metering lights, drivers have less company on the roadways, according to the Metropolitain Transportation Commission's latest report on traffic congestion in the Bay Area.

The 2008 congestion-monitoring report, released Wednesday, points out that traffic on Bay Area freeways during commute times dropped 12 percent over a five-year period.

During the height of the dotcom boom, drivers were at a standstill in their vehicles almost 180,000 hours during the morning and afternoon commute periods on an average weekday. In 2008, that number dropped to about 140,000 hours of delay.

No surprise to those who have to drive the Bay Bridge daily: The grand prize winner for this year's "commute from Hell" award goes to the I-80 approach to the bridge's metering lights. The morning commute on that stretch has a firm hold on the number one spot again -- for the fourth year in a row.

San Jose seems to be benefiting from an increase in construction and growth. The list shows the afternoon commute on the 101 from Fair Oaks to North 13th Street climbed three spots from last year -- from 10th worst to 7th.

The commute that matters the most is yours. Check out the stats and maps for yourself and let us know in the comments: How does the study measure your way to work?

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