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San Diego traffic congestion plunged 46.9 percent last year, according to Kirkland, Washington-based Inrix, which tracks congestion in metro areas. The county fell from 14th most congested metro area to 15th. However, this is a mixed blessing. San Diego was tied with extremely depressed Detroit for the second biggest drop in congestion. The largest decline was in Riverside, beset with extremely high home foreclosures. San Diego had very high gas prices most of last year, says Inrix, also noting that the economy was weak. The worst bottlenecks were 805 southbound at La Jolla Village Drive, Highway 78 eastbound at Twin Oaks Valley Road, and Escondido freeway 15 southbound at W. Valley Parkway. Nationally, congestion was down 30 percent last year. Los Angeles, New York City, and Chicago were the three most congested areas, in that order.

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paul Feb. 27, 2009 @ 10:35 a.m.

I commute from Sorrento Valley to North County (which is the good way, against the major traffic each direction). The difference between the summer of 2007 and the summer of 2008 was downright eerie. In the afternoons especially, the freeway in summer of 2007 would be stop and go all the way south, with the alternates along the coast or down El Camino Real and through RSF completely jammed. Last summer I didn't have a single day where the drive wasn't consistently 60 MPH or higher. This fall, every day has been like a holiday.

I love the commute, but every day I wonder what happened to everybody, and pray that I still have a job to go back to the next day.


Don Bauder Feb. 27, 2009 @ 11:32 a.m.

Response to post #1: Yes, the sharp lessening of road congestion has its dark side, too. San Diego being tied for second place with Detroit is hardly reassuring. Best, Don Bauder


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