Just for fun I called 511 from my cell phone this morning to get traffic information on some South Bay freeways. 511 is the local traffic management service that provides real time traffic status via voice commands through your cell phone. I also call 511 to get transit schedule information if I need to ride a bus I'm not completely familiar with, though in that case I usually connect to VTA's automated schedule information.
A bicyclist was hit on San Tomas Expressway this morning, and there was a multiple car collision somewhere else on San Tomas. There was the usual slowdown on 85 northbound at El Camino Real. But the thing that struck me was this statement from the automated voice:
There is a slowdown on Interstate 280 north from Interstate 680 in San Jose to De Anza Boulevard in Cupertino. Traffic is moving between 10 and 30 miles per hour.I don't know what the average speed over that distance was this morning, but if we split the difference and and call it 20 mph, that's 45 minutes to cover that 14 mile distance. Let's say you live in the East Valley and work at one of the tech businesses on De Anza like Apple or Symantec. It probably takes you at least 15 minutes just to get on I-280 in the first place, then another 45 minutes to get across to Cupertino, and perhaps another 10 minutes. That's almost the time it takes for my 44 mile commute that I do via bus, train and bike!