The City of Santee held a public meeting Thursday to launch a study into how to ease traffic on State Route 52.
Experts say the problem with traffic in the area is only going to go from bad to worse. A traffic engineer told NBC 7 the problem has gotten so bad it's even impacting the reliability of services for bus and freight trips.
"That commute coming home is just diabolically awful," said Santee resident Barbara Thronson. "Most of the time it will be just dead stop traffic. I can't tell you how many times I've called my husband and said 'I'm stuck! Go get the kids! I'm not going to make it on time."
Jim Stone with Circulate San Diego says the problem isn't isolated to SR-52.
"This is true for a lot of areas of San Diego County. We've created areas for people to live and areas for people to work and they're separated by many miles and we say, 'just get on the road, drive on the freeway,'" he said.
One piece of good news: San Diego is ranked as one of the better cities for commute times across the nation, in a study released Thursday by Trulia.