Bay Bridge traffic still backing up city streets

September 11, 2013 8:02:04 PM PDT
If you've been trying to get in and out of San Francisco over the last two weeks, you've likely endured a traffic nightmare. Lots of traffic could be seen Wednesday evening approaching the lower deck of the Bay Bridge headed eastbound toward Oakland.

"After work, it's a little bit of pandemonium," said commuter Lavelle Beasley.

Beasley has noticed a change in his commute out of San Francisco to the East Bay and so has commuter Reza Khajenouri.

"It's horrible, it's horrible. I work Downtown. It takes me 45 minutes to get to this point," said Khajenouri.

This point is the First and Harrison Street onramp to the Bay Bridge and it wasn't even 3 o'clock when we spoke to him. He blames it on gawkers checking out the new eastern span and backing up traffic on surface streets. They were certainly doing that last week, but the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency thinks things are now better.

"What we're noting is that traffic has been lighter than last week and what we've done is put more parking control officers to help direct traffic manually, to do whatever we can to help," said Paul Rose from the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency.

He says six a day have been on the busiest streets since last week, but some skeptics don't believe it's the beauty of the bridge that's responsible for the mess. We asked the city's cabbies for their best guess.

"It's the game, a lot of people in the city, a convention in town with 20,000 people. A lot of action in our beautiful city," said Osama Haddad, a San Francisco taxi driver.

"It's not new believe me. Early morning traffic and afternoon traffic and construction, more construction every day," said San Francisco taxi driver Awni Gheith.

We asked our own ABC7 Morning news traffic reporter Leyla Gulen what she thinks is behind the continuing bottleneck.

"Aside from the allure of the bridge, I think there's just a lot of construction going on around the city, along the Embarcadero, around the Bay Bridge ramps. That is adding to the pain of your normal commute time," said Gulen.

Could there be a future upside to all this?

"Maybe more people will go back to public transportation," said Beasley.


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