Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Best Times to Commute?

What time do you hit the road?  It seems lately that San Diegans love to sleep late.  The rush rarely takes hold before 7:00am and by 8:30 ninety percent of us are off the road.

In the north county.... I-15 is always the first to get hit and it's usually around the 78 interchange.  The minor back-ups occur around 6:30 and by 7:00 it's typically very busy to Lake Hodges.  Beyond that there is no doubt freeway improvements have improved the commute from RB south.
I-5 on the north coast has become a strange bird.  Over the past year it's normally clear sailing until just after 7am.... by 7:30 you can count on traffic from La Costa Ave to Manchester Ave up to 9am or later.
Hwy 56 is a late starter.....good to about 7:30and then Carmel Valley stacks up until 9am.
Hwy 78 typically follows the pattern of the 15 but with Palomar and CSU  San Morcos in session, count on traffic after 8am on the transition from 15 to West 78.
Hwy 76 is still coming into its own....the one consistent hot spot is west of Bonsall at E. Vista Way...count on a back up there....early.....before 7:30.

East county...the first area to get hit is the 8 in El Cajon...Lake Jennings to E. Main and that's typicaly not until 7am.  In Mission Valley expect delays after 8am in Hotel Circle.
Hwy 52 has been upgraded and normally moves well with early (6:30-7:30) traffic in Santee at the 125.
Hwy 94 goes the way of the 805 from the south...busy morning on 805 from National City and the 94 will back up from Kelton Rd.  But again, it's late... well after 7am.
The 125 from Spring Valley to La Mesa has been a pain lately, after 7:30 especially.

The 805 is almost always busier in the south bay than the 5.  Early slowing near the 54 before 7 but very heavy past the 94 after 7am.
The 5 in National City almost always goes the way of the bridge, busy bridge busy 5...especially north of the 15 interchange and south of the bridge.
The Bridge, what can I say, Navy traffic...unpredictable and very early.  If its gonna stack up it will normally do so by 6am and clear by 7.

Mid county it the 805 that struggle most mornings especially north of Mission Valley and past the 52 into University City....work in the Triangle?....get on it early....by 7:30 you've got company all the way up to Mira Mesa.

All this of course barring any accidents, a crash in lanes for just a few minutes can change the game completely....like you don't know this already.

So the lesson here is to get at it early.  If you can be on the road before 7am chances are you will have a relatively easy ride to work....(famous last words).

For the afternoon commutes all bets are off....no rhythm at all...(hey Steely Dan said that)....you leave work at different times, make a stop on the way home....throws the whole game off.  These days only one thing is for certain in the PM drive.....Hwy 78/San Marcos will be a mess.....but I've covered that already.  Be safe...see you on the radio...cal

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Highway 78 needs help!

So now that the UT has published an article stating the obvious to those in the North County, that the 78 commute in San Marcos is the busiest in the land...no kidding!....what can be done?  Every afternoon, right on time, unlike the Sprinter, the gridlock slows it down eastbound to the 15.  Hey wasn't the Sprinter and the millions spent supposed to alleviate this?  We don't like mass transit, we won't use mass transit, yet it's shoved down taxpayers wallets time and time again.  It wasn't that long ago that the 78 had a major face lift  between the 5 and 15...three lanes each way.  Alas, like many projects before it....too little too late.  Now what?  Well Caltrans has nothing official on the books but the City of San Marcos, according to the  UT, has been throwing money their way to make improvements near CSU San Marcos. 5 mill hear and 4 mill there, good luck with that! In the meantime those in the know continue to use S. Santa Fe and  Mission as alternates.  If only that guy on the radio would stop telling everyone else about those super secret routes.....be safe...see you on the radio.....cal