We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Commuter Traffic Advice

Bloomington...
Level Contributor
311 posts
88 reviews
Save Topic
Commuter Traffic Advice

We'll be arriving late afternoon/early evening on Monday, June 8th via I-80 and staying in North Beach. Is there a better window of time to arrive and avoid heavy traffic into the city?

We'll then be leaving early morning on Monday the 15th and heading south on Route 1 to Monterey. Again, would it be better to leave very early or wait a bit until the worst of the traffic has cleared?

Thanks so much for your help!

San Francisco
Level Contributor
36,629 posts
26 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Commuter Traffic Advice

Where are you coming from? You'll run into some traffic, but west bound across the Bay Bridge on a Monday isn't as bad as east bound on a Friday!

Again, southbound on Hiway 101 (to catch Hiway 1) isn't too bad. Busy, but not bumper to bumper.

You can call 511 on your cell phone and follow the prompts for real time traffic advisories.

Oakland, California
Destination Expert
for Yosemite National Park
Level Contributor
6,325 posts
25 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Commuter Traffic Advice

Barring any unseen circumstances, you should be OK in both situations, as you are going against traffic. Sometimes the Bay Bridge can slow down a bit as you approach the SF side in the late afternoon, because of backlogs of traffic getting on to southbound 101. But you will be getting off fairly quickly so I think you should manage fine.

Bloomington...
Level Contributor
311 posts
88 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Commuter Traffic Advice

Thanks for the insight. It would make sense that the traffic would be heavier outbound late afternoon but every city is different and has its own quirks right? Monday will be day 3 of a 3-day trip from Illinois(our last stop will be Lake Tahoe)so we'll be pretty pooped out.

San Jose, California
Level Contributor
1,260 posts
12 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Commuter Traffic Advice

The traffic on I-80 through El Cerrito / Albany / Berkeley, is almost always horrible, especially the last part as you approach what is fondly known as "the Maze". It's only a few miles though.

An alternate route is: 80 to 680 south to Hi-24 west, back to I-80 again. I'd only take that route if there is some accident on I-80 , since it's a fair bit farther. But it can be faster if I-80 is worse than normal. Call 511 when you get to the town of Fairfield or thereabouts. Ask for driving times from Fairfield to SF. As soon as the auto attendant starts talking, say loud and clear, "driving times", it will then ask for your starting and ending points.

FYI - to get an idea of traffic patterns, go to Google maps, click the traffic button in the upper right. You can enter the time of day and it will show you what the traffic usually looks like at that time, and day of week.

San Francisco, CA
Level Contributor
40 posts
1 review
Save Reply
5. Re: Commuter Traffic Advice

I don't want to contradict other posters, but from my experience traffic into SF on Bay Bridge on any afternoon is always slow, especially before the toll booth and the metering lights right after.

However, since you said you'll be arriving on Monday (i.e. weekday), will you be travelling with more than 3 people in your car? If so, you can jump in on the carpool lane (don't know which lane as I never did this myself) and the bridge will be free (no toll) and I think the carpool lane will bypass the metering light as well.

Leaving Northbeach on Monday morning for Hwy 1 should not be a problem.

Hope that helps.

San Francisco...
Level Contributor
1,053 posts
34 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Commuter Traffic Advice

The free car pool lanes at the toll plaza are two far left lanes.

Also, while traveling on 80 West, stay in the far left lane for carpools of 3 or more people and this lane will also take you to the Bay Bridge.

If there are only one or two of you, stay in the right lanes to get on the Bay Bridge.

7. Re: Commuter Traffic Advice

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 05 November 2009, 05:56