I was driving down Highway 101 last week, the central artery through Marin County on the way to San Francisco, and something was wrong. It was 8:30 in the morning and the traffic was more reminiscent of 8:30 pm. This all changed however with many schools starting this week. Now traffic is back to its typical ugliness.
Not that bad traffic is unusual for the Bay Area. According to one report, the Bay Area had the second worst traffic congestion in the nation after Los Angeles. The Marin 101 corridor is typically one of the worse traffic spots in the area in yearly traffic assessments.
Maybe the new Transportation Bill will help, as Marin landed quite a few improvement projects including the widening of the Novato narrows.
The bad traffic might have been eased a bit if back in the 60’s Marin had been connected to BART. Unfortunately, a ridership that was too small, and concerns about attaching BART to the Golden Gate Bridge prevented Marin’s connection to the system. This was compounded by fears that connection to BART would spur development in the area. Now, of course, any connection to BART would cost hundreds of millions per mile of line (Just witness the SFO airport extension with a price tag of 1.5 billion for just under 8.8 miles).
Until new projects get under way, or more public transit is added (such as light rail from Sonoma County), we’ll have to wait for the next school vacation for easy morning commutes.
For more on traffic visit the Marin Congestion Management Agency