Last updated on April 24, 2014 at 1:21 EDT

San Francisco’s Labor Day Traffic Ranks Sixth-Worst Nationwide

August 28, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 28, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Every Labor Day, millions of Americans hit the road for one “last” summer weekend, but 2012 will see a decrease in holiday travel for San Franciscans, according to INRIX, the leading provider of traffic information. Through in-depth analysis of recent traffic patterns in the metro area, INRIX predicts that San Francisco, ranked as the third-most congested city in the U.S.,(1) will claim the number six spot for the worst cities for weekend road-trippers.

“With San Francisco gas prices much higher than the national average, we’re predicting less delays resulting from fewer travelers leaving town for Labor Day compared to other cities,” said Jim Bak, INRIX Director of Community Relations. “Many San Francisco residents will choose to stay in town and see what the city has to offer for the holiday. For those who are traveling, traffic will mirror a typical Friday rush hour.”

Key insights from INRIX’s Bay Area research include:

  • Traffic will start to build in San Francisco around 9 a.m. on Friday, August 31, and will remain consistent throughout the day, peaking from 4 – 5 p.m. before tapering off.
  • Travelers leaving San Francisco will have the best luck traveling late Friday evening or before lunch Saturday.
  • Marin County-bound residents looking to “staycation” in San Francisco should build extra drivetime into their schedules, as the Sausalito Art Festival will cause Golden Gate speeds into the city to drop to around 20 mph.
  • Vacationers headed north to Napa will experience minor delays with travel times averaging just 15 minutes longer than normal.

Although traffic patterns on Friday, the big holiday getaway day, will mirror normal rush hour conditions, affects of extra drivers on the road will still be felt, with eastbound I-80 traffic crawling over the Bay Bridge at an average speed of 15 mph, slowing getaways to Tahoe and Napa. Work on the Dumbarton Bridge will also cause some delays, however INRIX believes that these will not affect holiday travelers. Free tools like the INRIX Traffic app for iPhone, Android, Blackberry and Windows Phone can to help ease drivers’ getaway with up-to-the-minute information about traffic conditions, the fastest routes and travel times.

Additional information about traffic delays heading to popular road trip destinations for San Francisco residents is as follows:

       Day               Worst Time to Travel   Best Time to Travel
       ---               --------------------   -------------------
      Friday  4 - 5 p.m.                      Late evening
      ------  ----------                      ------------
     Saturday 4 - 5 p.m.                      Before Noon
     -------- ----------                      -----------

San Francisco to Reno/Lake Tahoe, NV

Traffic out of the City over the Bay Bridge on Friday will be particularly slow between 4 and 5 p.m. with average speeds of 22mph. Thereafter, there will patchy congestion spots until the 580 interchange at Richmond, and speeds of around 30mph approaching Vallejo. Sacramento will be another congested area, where traffic will ease to around 20mph, but these delays will be short lived.

    Route                        I-80 E
    -----                        ------
    Length of Journey            218 miles (3 hours 53 minutes)
    -----------------            ------------------------------
    Worst Corridor               Sacramento
    --------------               ----------
    Average Speed                46 mph
    -------------                ------
    Travel Time w/Traffic        4 hours 44 minutes
    ---------------------        ------------------

San Francisco to Napa, CA

Saturday traffic will run with delays over the Bay Bridge, with average speeds of 25mph. Further delays will build towards Vallejo will and around Napa County Airport, but these are not expected to be significant.

    Route                        I-80 E
    -----                        ------
    Length of Journey             49 miles (1 hour 2
    -----------------             ------------------
    Worst Corridor               Bay Bridge, and Vallejo
    --------------               -----------------------
    Average Speed                38mph
    -------------                -----
    Travel Time w/Traffic        1 hours 18 minutes
    ---------------------        ------------------

San Francisco to Monterey, CA

Route 101 takes traffic through the center of San Francisco, while Highway 1 is the coastal route. The latter historically sees healthy speeds along the entire journey, but INRIX advises that drivers check weather reports before travelling as this route can be affected by landslides and treacherous conditions.

    Route                 Route 101             Highway 1
    -----                 ---------             ---------
    Length of Journey      112 miles (2 hours 7  119 miles (2 hours 29
                           minutes)              minutes)
    -----------------      --------------------  ---------------------
    Worst Corridor        San Jose              Montara
    -----------------     --------              -------
    Average Speed         41 mph                44 mph
    -------------         ------                ------
    Travel Time w/Traffic 2 hours 44 minutes    2 hours 42 minutes
    --------------------- ------------------    ------------------

For those heading further south along Highway 1 from Monterey to Big Sur, Saturday will be busiest around 1 p.m. The winding roads may mean speeds of about 40mph, but the journey should take no more than one hour.


INRIX® is the largest global traffic intelligence platform in the world, delivering smart data and analytics to solve transportation issues worldwide. INRIX crowd sources data daily from more than 100 million vehicles and devices to deliver traffic and driving-related insight, as well as sophisticated analytical tools and services, across six industries in 31 countries.

With more than 200 customers and partners including Audi AG, ADAC, ANWB, BMW, the BBC, Ford Motor Company, the I-95 Coalition, MapQuest, Microsoft, NAVIGON, Nissan, O2, Tele Atlas, Telmap, Toyota and Vodafone, INRIX’s real-time traffic information and traffic forecasts help drivers save time every day. To experience the traffic technology revolution behind the next generation of transportation, navigation and location-based service applications, visit www.INRIX.com.

(1) As determined by the 2011 INRIX Traffic Scorecard, released May 2012. For more information, see http://scorecard.inrix.com.


Source: PR Newswire