San Diego sees decrease in freeway traffic

The San Diego Union Tribune reported this week that after conducting an analysis of Caltrans data, they’ve determined that traffic in San Diego County is down for the first time ever.  Looking at current traffic data compared to the same time period last year, the U-T found that weekday traffic in June decreased from between 3.3% and 9.1%, depending on the freeway.  Even more dramatic is the decrease in weekend traffic, which has ranged from 5.2% to 11.9%.  This decrease in traffic is, of course, being attributed to the high price of gasoline and the slowing economy.

While it is great that there is less traffic on the roads, it is unfortunate that the primary alternative to not driving is to stay at home, or close to home.  While the San Diego Trolley has had a 6.8% growth in ridership over the past year, it is not a practical alternative for most residents.  In San Diego, as is the case in most U.S. cities, there are very limited means of public transit.  Yes, it is good news that people are driving less and the roads are less crowded, but it is too bad that there isn’t a meaningful rail alternative to fill that void.

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