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About this blog: I am a native of Alameda County, grew up in Pleasanton and currently live in the house I grew up in that is more than 100 years old. I spent 39 years in the daily newspaper business and wrote a column for more than 25 years in add...  (More)

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Prosperity challenges

Uploaded: Apr 14, 2016
Speaking to the transportation forum in late March, Pleasanton Mayor Jerry Thorne said projections showed Interstate 580 becoming so congested over the next five years that it will surpass I-80 as the worst freeway in the Bay Area.
The routes serve both commuters and 18-wheelers. The tractor trailers are coming from outlying warehouses to serve Bay Area retailers (think of the massive Safeway warehouse and depot west of Tracy along I-580) as well as hauling containers to serve the Port of Oakland. I-580 also gets the commuter traffic from more affordable housing in the San Joaquin Valley that is bound for the Silicon Valley.
The job growth in the South Bay also has increased the number of people living in the Livermore Valley, particularly Pleasanton, and heading south on I-680. It’s no accident that the Bernal Avenue and Sunol Boulevard onramps are backed up—along with the freeway—most weekday mornings. The same goes for the growth in the number of luxury commute buses headed for major South Bay employers.
What’s creating the congestion is simple, but profoundly challenging to solve—prosperity driven by the growth in high-wage jobs in Silicon Valley, along the Peninsula and in the city.
What’s not keeping pace is the number of housing units.
In an editorial about why rent control is no solution, the San Francisco Business Times pointed out that in 2011 the Association of Bay Area Governments (the regional planning agency) estimated growth over the next 30 years. It forecast job growth of 206,000 and 136,000 new housing units by now.
Instead, the Times reported that association officials said the Bay Area has added 531,000 jobs and permitted just 94,000 units—it is not rocket science. The law of supply and demand does apply.
What is it worth to you?


Posted by SHale99, a resident of another community,
on Apr 14, 2016 at 11:36 am

SHale99 is a registered user.

As somebody who began commuting from San Ramon (Gale Ranch) to San Bruno I can say 580 isn't the problem. Well, the Hopyard onramp to merge to 580 you take you life in your hands every single morning...the problem is 238 and 880! the 10 miles on 580 west is a breeze until 238 and then a few miles on 880 takes more time then a lot of the entire trip!
and to think there is still a few thousand NEW units due to come online here in Gale Ranch in the next 12 months. Yay. San Ramon certainly has done more than its fair share when it comes to new housing.....Time for the other cities to get it going.....

Posted by DKHSK, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Apr 15, 2016 at 2:42 pm

DKHSK is a registered user.


Not to take the wind out of your sail, but 580/238 pales in comparison to 680 South through Pleasanton, both in road conditions (potholes) and traffic. And 580 West up and over the Altamount is ridiculous! I have never seen road conditions that bad even in the worst of third world highway systems in Manila.

I keep hearing about how our Governor filled a $28b deficit but have no idea where all that money has gone? It sure as heck is not going into the most basic of infrastructure needs.


Posted by SHale99, a resident of another community,
on Apr 15, 2016 at 7:37 pm

SHale99 is a registered user.

Never on 680 either direction, so can't so boo (and wasn't). Manila? Been lately? Our roads and freeways are heaven compared.

Posted by Bill, a resident of Pleasanton Heights,
on Apr 17, 2016 at 11:17 am

Bad news Shale. The 238/580/880 interchange IS the improved version! And as a commuter who goes to many locations throughout the bay, I can tell you it's really not a bad spot.

Posted by American, a resident of Danville,
on Apr 18, 2016 at 6:51 am

If instead of wasting the billions of dollars he will spend on this ridiculous bullet train that nobody will ride, the Governor spent that money on fixing the never ending potholes on the roads we all use, CA would be much better off.

Posted by Shale99, a resident of another community,
on Apr 18, 2016 at 7:10 am

Afraid 880 south just prior to 92 IS bad; maybe not the worse, tho. For me that small stretch is like 25-50% of a 44 mile commute.
And yes, the Hopyard onramp to 580 IS the worse. It was bad last summer, then worse when they created the silly HOV lane. You actually take your life in your hands trying to scoot over 3 lanes to 580 west. Whomever designed that onramp/merge hell should find another line of work.

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