Climate conference creates traffic gridlock in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The climate summit was the main cause for gridlock in downtown San Francisco on Thursday.

And unfortunately for commuters, the traffic pain won't end anytime soon.

RELATED: Hundreds protest Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco

The protests, in addition to the planned closure of Howard street for the Global Action Climate Summit, were the main "drivers," pun intended, of Thursday morning's gridlock.

The traffic jam extended from the South of Market area to the I-280 extension, the Bay Bridge and the Embarcadero.

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Folsom was also closed at Spear Street due to an electrical vault fire.

And of course, Howard Street will be closed between Third and Fourth streets through September 29 because of this summit as well as construction work and the Salesforce Dreamforce conference.

That will be 18 straight days of closure around an artery to the Bay Bridge, 101 and 280.

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SF Municipal Transportation Agency Spokesman Paul Rose said Howard Street in front of Moscone is now closed about 35 days each year, or 10 percent of the year.

"These events can be disruptive, but at the same time these events bring a lot of tourists dollars and a lot of tourists into the city, which is also needed."

Officials said your best bet is take transit, bike or carpool for the next 16 days.
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