You’re not imagining it: Bay Area traffic’s picking back up

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – More than a year after the Bay Area shutdown because of the coronavirus pandemic, traffic is starting to pick up on some of the major roads and bridges.

The biggest increase in traffic looks to be on the Bay Bridge, but it’s still down about 15% from pre-pandemic traffic levels.

“More recently, just in the last four or five weeks we’ve seen traffic creep back up a bit,” said John Goodwin with the Metropolitan Transportation Commission.

Goodwin said while we’re still a ways away form pre-pandemic traffic levels, the number of people on the roads has increased.

“We were down by half early April of last year,” he added.

KRON4’s traffic cameras showed heavy traffic at the Bay Bridge Tuesday morning around 7, and the same deal on the San Mateo Bridge.

Goodwin said MTA has done focus groups with drivers to determine when we will see traffic increase even more.

“The big factor seems to be the return of kids to school and for younger kids in in-person daycare,” he added.

He said as more kids go to school, families will establish routines and that will create more regular movement around the Bay Area.

“While you have congestion now in a lot of the old familiar places, it doesn’t last as long and it’s not as intense as it was pre-pandemic,” he said.

Goodwin also mentioned while the number of cars on roadways is increasing, public transit numbers are still down significantly.

MTA said they are also encouraging people to carpool when it is safe to do so.

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