SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — More and more Bay Area commuters are hitting the road long before sunrise.
The early birds are looking for something far more precious than worms. The traffic nightmare is already developing, while most of the Bay Area is sleeping.
“The number of people on the move between 4 and 5 o’clock is up and up strongly,” Metropolitan Transit Commission spokesman John Goodwin said.
Transit officials said Tuesday’s westbound traffic on the Bay Bridge totaled more than 4,000 vehicles, roughly half the bridge’s full capacity and 23 percent more than a year ago. Some of those commuters may be trying to beat the $1 toll increase at 5 a.m.
But state officials said other bridges are also handling more traffic, with no change in tolls. In the same hour, westbound traffic on the Richmond-San Rafael bridge jumped 21 percent.
And farther south, there was a similar uptick on the Dumbarton Bridge. The San Mateo Bridge is the second busiest. It had a 9 percent rise from a year ago.
As for the cause, Goodwin said the tech-fueled building boom has gobbled up a lot of open space.
“There are far fewer surface parking lots in San Francisco,” Goodwin said. “These folks may be racing to get to work, so they can find a place to park.”
And it’s not just the transbay bridges that are getting crowded. The MTC reports that the Benicia, Antioch and Carquinez bridges are also seeing more traffic before 5 a.m.
But don’t worry. KRON’s George Rask will help you get through it every morning.