The absolute worst times to drive out of SF over Thanksgiving weekend

While long-time San Franciscans know traffic in The City nearly disappears over Thanksgiving weekend, driving out of San Francisco can...

While long-time San Franciscans know traffic in The City nearly disappears over Thanksgiving weekend, driving out of San Francisco can still leave folks stuck bumper to bumper.

Car insurance company Metromile has crunched its own proprietary data, however, and shared it to help San Franciscans navigate traffic slumps over the next few days.

The company employs telematic tracking with its customers, who track their travel in order to prove they drive less often to pay lower rates. The service is aimed at regular transit users — like Muni riders — who drive only occasionally.

Crunching the numbers on 198,000 trips by Metromile customers in San Francisco, whose data was aggregated and anonymized, the company painted a picture of when Thanksgiving weekend traffic picks up locally.

First off, the absolute worst times to drive are 5:30 p.m. Wednesday evening, 1 p.m. on Thanksgiving day, 2 p.m. on the shopping-extravaganza known as “Black Friday,” 5 p.m. on Saturday and 3:30 p.m. on Sunday.

San Francisco drivers hit the roads early the day before Thanksgiving, Metromile noted, with cars hitting the road at about 6 a.m. Traffic doubles by 9 a.m. Wednesday, however.

In perhaps an unsurprising reveal, most San Franciscans don’t drive off after Thanksgiving dinner, with the roads “not too busy” on Thursday night, Metromile wrote in a statement. And they aren’t too enthused about Black Friday openings, either, with drivers not heavily on the road for stores’ early morning openings.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency also released its own Thanksgiving weekend travel tips.

On Thanksgiving Day some parking regulations will not be enforced citywide, including parking meters, seven-day street sweeping, residential parking permits, Monday-Friday daytime sweeping, and commuter towaway zones

But drivers beware: On Friday, parking meters and seven-day street sweeping will once again be enforced citywide.

Residential parking permits, Monday-Friday daytime street sweeping and commuter towaways will still not be enforced, according to SFMTA.

On Thanksgiving day, Muni will operate on a reduced-service Sunday schedule. On Black Friday, Muni will operate on a regular weekday schedule, however, there will be no express bus service throughout The City, with the exception of the 8AX-Bayshore A Express, 8BX-Bayshore B Express, the 78X-16th Street Arena Express, and the 79X-Van Ness Arena Express, according to SFMTA.

joe@sfexaminer.com

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