Is Traffic Congestion in San Francisco Really Improving? One Study Says It Is

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— A study by the San Francisco County Transportation Authority (SFCTA) shows car traffic has dropped in San Francisco in recent years, despite economic boom and the growing population.

The study counted fewer cars at 11 of 15 downtown intersections, even during peak afternoon hours, compared to earlier counts taken between 2009 and 2012. However, they said driving speeds are “increasing moderately.”

But if you ask most people if the city’s traffic is easing up, they’d say that’s impossible.

“Counter to what we anecdotally believe based on just what we see around town ourselves, we actually have both higher speed and lower traffic volumes, which indicates less overall demand,” said Dan Tischler with the SFCTA. “One thing we know for certain is that transit ridership is up significantly on all of the major providers.”

The 2014 survey only looked at afternoon commute hours. Tischler said it’s possible daytime and evening traffic has worsened, giving people the impression the city is more gridlocked than ever.

More from Jeffrey Schaub
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