Study examines causes of Bay Area traffic congestion

January 8, 2013 12:22:14 PM PST
According to a new study by researchers at U.C. Berkeley and MIT, a small number of commuters are causing freeway traffic jams in the Bay Area. The study's authors says targeting those drivers could dramatically improve traffic flow.

When you ask Bay Area drivers for troubled traffic spots, the list of answers is a long one. A study found a relatively small number of drivers are causing the majority of traffic congestion on Bay Area highways.

People commuting from outlying areas jam up streets along freeways, creating a ripple-affect that stalls traffic. Some of the most congested traffic is found on the 101-corridor in south San Jose; I-880 in Hayward; the I-580/I-680 interchange in Dublin; I-680 in San Ramon and Hwy 101 in the North Bay at San Rafael.

Traffic officials said the era of building new freeways is behind us, so this research will help them use what we already have more efficiently. That might mean more metering lights or suggesting different times for drivers to commute.


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