Beyond the Headlines: Traffic By the Numbers

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Wednesday, August 17, 2005
A simple comparison illustrates how Sacramento traffic has changed.
All that traffic flowing past Treasure Island in the Bay Area on an average day – it’s about 295,000 vehicles. The same number is true of Interstate 80 by Gilman or University Avenues in Berkeley.  295,000 vehicles.  All that traffic flowing along Interstate 80 by Madison Avenue – it’s about 258,000 vehicles on average.  That’s only about 12% less. And that’s not the most congested spot in the region.  That distinction goes to Highway 50 by 16th Street, with 270,000 cars, trucks, hearses and motorcycles passing by.
The Sacramento region’s traffic counts have grown tremendously in just the past decade. On Highway 99, 75,000 more vehicles pass by 12th Avenue than 10 years ago – a 49% jump. It’s testimony to the housing growth in the south area, and the dearth of jobs down there. And I-80 by Riverside Avenue in Roseville – the count is up 50%. Bay Area traffic hasn’t gone up nearly that much since 1995, according to all these numbers from Caltrans’ website.
Just as our housing prices are creeping closer to Bay Area levels … unfortunately, so is our traffic.