Shoppers Snarl East Bay Commuters - NBC Bay Area

Shoppers Snarl East Bay Commuters

New Livermore outlet mall creating traffic backup



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    Four days after Livermore’s Paragon Outlet Mall opened, it snarled traffic on Interstate 580 in Livermore and beyond. On what was a holiday for many schools and businesses, traffic was heavy around the mall and some commuters who mere miles away say their commute times multiplied.

    “It took me about 45 minutes to get home instead of about five minutes,” said Nick Steele, who works in Livermore and lives in Pleasanton. “It’s going to affect work, getting groceries, going out to dinner.”

    More than one commuter was so frustrated with the traffic, she doesn’t even want to check out the 130-store outlet mall for herself.

    “I have no interest in going until at least after the holidays. The deals are not worth it,” said Morgan Lambert of Dublin whose commute from San Francisco on Friday took 45 minutes longer than it should have.

    A CHP spokesman says that agency, along with local police and Caltrans, will monitor the situation and make adjustments as necessary. CHP reported no increase in the number of traffic collisions as a result of the increased shopping-related traffic.

    However, Livermore Police did report an increase in the number of callers looking for directions to the mall.

    Livermore’s Paragon Outlet Mall is expected to create up to 2,000 permanent jobs and more seasonal ones. One of those workers is Frank Juarez of Concord who said he didn’t mind the traffic surge because it means he has a job.

    “I just plan ahead and allow extra time,” Juarez said.