• Home Home

Driver's photo of infuriating traffic jam demonstrates major infrastructure issue: 'Got serious problems'

"I commute 20 miles. It takes an hour to get to work."

"I commute 20 miles. It takes an hour to get to work."

Photo Credit: iStock

In the Reddit community r/UrbanHell, a user shared a picture of the Oakland/San Francisco Bay Bridge Toll Plaza at sunset.

In the image, red brake lights extend out of the frame through the tolls headed over the bay. Sixteen lanes of traffic funnel through the tolls to merge onto the thruway, causing major traffic.

Photo Credit: Reddit

Traffic congestion is a problem that plagues many commuters in the United States. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, congestion has grown substantially in the country. The yearly hours of delay more than doubled in large cities from 1982 to 2002, even with expensive highway expansion projects, which have been ineffective and unpopular amongst Americans.

The average delay nationwide was 51 hours per traveler in 2022, NPR reported, based on the 2022 Global Traffic Scorecard by the mobility analytics firm Inrix. Yet commuters in major cities suffer the most. Chicago has the worst congestion, NPR reported, with drivers averaging 156 hours of delay due to traffic in 2022. San Francisco is one of the cities in the Top 10 with most time lost to congestion. 

"I commute 20 miles. It takes an hour to get to work and usually an hour+ to get home," one Reddit user commented under a video representing how bad traffic gets in San Francisco.

Public transportation has been shown to be up to ten times safer than driving, per Modeshift, citing a report by the American Public Transportation Association. It also decreases air pollution by 45%, according to UCLA Transportation. Public transportation can also benefit the mental health of older adults, as found in studies in the United Kingdom, while alleviating the frustration of motor vehicle commuters, taking valuable time out of their day. 

Traffic congestion also leads to more accidents and an increase in air pollution, causing harm to ecosystems, per government agencies. Idling and slow speeds can even result in more planet-warming pollution, especially when vehicles average below 45 miles per hour for freeways. Cars, trucks, and buses account for more than 20% of all heat-trapping gas pollution in the U.S., according to the Union of Concerned Scientists. This is in part due to congestion points such as the one in the Bay Area. 

Reddit users responded to the post with frustration. One said: "They got serious problems."

One settled sarcastically on an alternative to cities relying on cars as the main mode of transportation: "It would be great if we could somehow take all of the commuters cars and chain them front to back so more cars can pass through. Better yet, we could only allow longer cars that allow more passengers. And for safety, we could put the cars on some kind of path that they cannot deviate from like a rail."

Join our free newsletter for easy tips to save more, waste less, and help yourself while helping the planet.

Cool Divider