BART strike leads to traffic congestion in SF, around Bay Area

AP Photo/Eric RisbergWith the BART transit system on strike

AP Photo/Eric RisbergWith the BART transit system on strike

Bay Area freeways, especially those leading to the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, saw an increase in traffic Friday on the first day of a BART strike, the California Department of Transportation reported.

Bay Area traffic delays increased around 30 percent above normal between 5 and 10 a.m., according to Caltrans spokesman Bob Haus.

The largest increase was seen on Interstate Highway 80 in Alameda and Contra Costa counties, Haus said.

Interstate Highways 580 and 880 saw delays around twice as high as normal around 7 a.m., and the carpool lane on Interstate Highway 80 leading up to the Bay Bridge saw around 50 to 100 percent more traffic than a typical Friday, Haus said.

The backup was felt in San Francisco, where city streets were heavily congested heading into the evening commute, especially at freeway entrances, according to a city transit official.

The Van Ness Avenue corridor was moving, but many other key intersections around the city were congested, especially at freeway entrances, said Paul Rose, a spokesman for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency.

“The only thing you can do is be patient at this point,” Rose said.

Rose said Muni was not heavily affected by the traffic backup because it has transit-only lanes in the most affected areas.

One driver reported that the Fifth Street and Second Street on-ramps to eastbound Highway 80 in San Francisco were already severely backed up by 4 p.m., with waits of more than 45 minutes.

Many cars gave up and turning around, presumably in search of alternate routes, the driver said.

The California Highway Patrol reported heavy traffic on the Bay Bridge on Friday evening, although other areas so far look relatively normal, a CHP officer said.

With many drivers seeking alternate routes due to the BART strike, however, the congestion is extending to other corridors, said Randy Rentschler, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Transportation Commission.

Traffic Friday was heavy on the Highway 880 corridor and on state highways 24 and 37, among other places, Rentschler noted.

“What's happening now is [U.S. Highway] 101 in Marin is getting backed up because people are taking [Highway] 580, and 580 is backed up,”Rentschler said.

“So even though BART is far away, even though you don't take it, people are coming in from out of town,” Rentschler said.

BARTBay Area NewsTransittransportation

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Private vehicles were banned from much of Market Street in January 2020, causing bike ridership on the street to increase by 25 percent and transit efficiency by as much as 12 percent. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SFMTA board approves new Better Market Street legislation

Advocates say traffic safety improvements don’t go far enough to make up for lost bikeway

San Francisco City Hall is lit in gold and amber to remember victims as part of a national Memorial to Lives Lost to COVID-19 on Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
San Francisco joins national COVID memorial ceremony

San Francisco took part Tuesday in the first national Memorial to Lives… Continue reading

The S.F. Police Department has canceled discretionary days off and will have extra officers on duty for Inauguration Day, chief Bill Scott said Tuesday. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
SF ‘prepared for anything’ ahead of inauguration, but no protests expected

Authorities boosting police staffing, security at City Hall

Zero Grocery is among the Bay Area organizations delivering groceries in plastic-free packaging. (Screenshot)
Bye Trump, hello hope: SF can show US what’s possible

City’s climate efforts will shine under new administration

Dr. Grant Colfax, director of the San Francisco Department of Public Health, said Tuesday that The City received only a fraction of the COVID vaccine doses it requested this week. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
Unpredictable supplies leave SF running low on COVID vaccine

Reported reactions to Moderna shots prompt hold on 8,000 doses

Most Read