Transportation: As traffic returns to Bay Area highways, congestion is still less than before the pandemic | March 18, 2022 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

Cover Story - March 18, 2022

Transportation: As traffic returns to Bay Area highways, congestion is still less than before the pandemic

Silicon Valley is still experiencing shorter drive times, but how long will it last?

by Sue Dremann

Will traffic rebound to "carmageddon" levels now that employers are asking workers to come to the post-pandemic workplace?

This story contains 1069 words.

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Email Staff Writer Sue Dremann at [email protected]


Posted by Mary Ruth Leen
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 15, 2022 at 10:23 am

Mary Ruth Leen is a registered user.

The traffic now caused by the FasTrak carpool lane in Palo Alto is ridiculous. This toll lane is completely unnecessary and does not reach far enough to encourage drivers to carpool! Another waste of taxpayers' money!!

Posted by RW
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 15, 2022 at 10:32 am

RW is a registered user.

The pandemic showed that many workers were equally as productive working from home and they like it. This is an opportunity to significantly reduce carbon emissions. Transportation is one of the largest contributors. Companies need to move forward with a new more sustainable work model not fall back on outdated, resource intensive work models that clog highways with single occupant vehicles. Those office buildings suck energy at night and on weekends and are underutilized. Silicon Valley should be leading the way to a better, more climate friendly model for work.

Posted by cmarg
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Mar 15, 2022 at 10:36 am

cmarg is a registered user.

With the high gas prices, I hope people commute with others, take public transit, bike or walk so much more. It could be a blessing for our environment and climate change!

Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Mar 15, 2022 at 1:15 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

Send someone out to drive Middlefield Road from the Menlo Park border to Mountain View. It's absolutely absurd. AGAIN.

Cars are again backing up INTO the intersections at Oregon and Embcarcadero. The traffic light sensors STILL haven;'t been fixed,

My question is really simple; What is the city of Palo Alto doing to tell the State the mess on 101 is dangerous and counterproductive??

Official responses welcome.

Posted by Bystander
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 15, 2022 at 1:23 pm

Bystander is a registered user.

I echo the complaint about the Fastrak lane on 101 causing more problems than it is worth to those of us who live here and have to use San Antonio, Oregon and Embarcadero, and University ramps. 101 is now dangerous with more lane changing and heavy traffic as well as very often being well below the limit at times when the express lanes are empty. The cost of those lanes is a dissentive as well as 3 people needed for free travel instead of 2 people for the old carpool system.

I also see extra traffic on Middlefield and Bayshore which I suspect is due to the fact that local traffic looks for ways to avoid 101 to get to Costco or EPA.

I am not sure about the current status for remote working for Facebook and Google, but when they are all back full time, the rest of us will suffer more once again.

Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 16, 2022 at 4:40 pm

Nayeli is a registered user.

How do we hold "the powers that be" accountable for the FastTrak traffic debacle that we didn't ask for? We didn't vote for this.

It's time for voters to collectively say NO! to the politicians who mess things up by dishonestly using "let's save the environment" as a nouvé method of money-grabbing. When COVID is (finally) in the rear view mirror, we'll be sitting in the worst traffic that the peninsula has ever seen.

Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Mar 16, 2022 at 6:01 pm

Online Name is a registered user.


I totally agree. Maybe we can start with getting Palo Alto officials start an official protest> Otherwise maybe using Survey Monkey to show the opposition?

We can all contact Becker and Berman but doubt they'll bother to respond.

Other thoughts?

Maybe Palo Alto Online wants to cover this more?

Posted by Bystander
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 18, 2022 at 7:54 am

Bystander is a registered user.

Stating that traffic is not back to prepandemic levels when we see that highway 101 is now more congested by the new express lanes in effect removing 2 travel lanes for most of the day makes little sense. Driving between Sunnyvale to Redwood City can be double at non-commute times than it was before the lanes were operating. Driving at less than 50 mph when there are two empty lanes does not help mental health.

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