San Diego County

Coronavirus Pandemic Traffic Update: San Diego's Freeways Getting Busier

About four months into California's stay-at-home order one thing that's still missing on San Diego's freeways is that busy rush hour

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It's been about four months since the coronavirus pandemic reached San Diego County and people were told to stay home. But now that many businesses have reopened, how's traffic looking out there?

Each month, local planners take a look at the traffic trends. This is what it looked like for May-June, according to San Diego's Regional Planning Agency (SANDAG):

The average daily traffic volume was down 21% the first week in June, versus the 50% drop when it was at its lowest the second week in April.

The average peak period speed at the eight local hot spots analyzed continues to be significantly faster, compared to last year, even though traffic continues to increase.

Due to the significant reduction in freeway traffic, travel speeds during peak period travel times increased in the first week of June. While daily traffic volumes have increased, traffic was still moving 27 mph faster on average, compared to the same timeframe in 2019.

Also, traffic on local freeways has increased by 19% following an initial decrease when California's stay-at-home order took effect on March 19.

“This is a very unusual circumstance and we want to make sure that we aren’t just considering where we are right now and being reactionary, and then also looking long-term and how we’re recovering. And now we have spiked COVID numbers also. How is that going to affect our numbers for July which we’re compiling right now,” explained Dr. Cynthia Burke with SANDAG.

This new report looked at four weeks of data between mid-May and June 5, 2020. SANDAG will continue to send out monthly reports on traffic trends during COVID-19.

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