A few days ago, and again this morning, I mentioned going to the Office 2.0 Conference in San Francisco. Well, despite my best efforts to get there on time, Bay Area Traffic managed to completely torpedo that idea.
Before 11am today I had already spent just about 3.5 hours in the car. It's absolutely f'ing crazy. I mean just over-the-top nuts.
It should NOT take 2 hours and 10 minutes to make the 52.2 mile drive from my house in San Jose to downtown San Francisco.
Yet it did. And there were no accidents along the way. Just a lot of slow moving traffic, often stop and go, full of people who couldn't merge to save their lives, and the nagging sense that billions of dollars are going down the tubes every year because of how completely inadequate our transportation infrastructure is.
The metering lights that are supposed to regulate traffic flow onto highway 101 appear to be completely screwed up in the South Bay. They were definitely not helping much. At each major on-ramp I found myself slowing to almost a stop--if not stopping entirely.
It took nearly an hour to get less than half way there this morning. It was at that time that I thought to reset the trip counters on my GPS so that I could capture my average speed. The picture you see above was from San Francisco just before I arrived. So you can see that the average speed for the second "half" of the trip was barely 35 miles per hour.
By the time I reached Sam Mateo, it was clear that I was going to be very late. But I decided to keep driving just to see how late I'd be.
I know, I know. I should have taken Caltrain instead. Sure, that might have helped me today, but it does little to help the real problem. We need more lanes on the highways around here!
If even a tiny fraction of the people on the roads switched to Caltrain, it'd be over capacity. At least that's what I've heard from Caltrain officials on the radio in the last couple of years.
I'm utterly amazed that the folks who've been doing city and transit planning for the last 10-15 years or so haven't been hung in public by frustrated commuters.
To the folks at the Office 2.0 Conference: I'm sorry for missing the panel this morning. I was looking forward to it.
I wish I had a Toyota Prius. At least I'd have been able to use the carpool lane.
Posted by jzawodn at September 07, 2007 12:07 PM