Why Horrible Friday Traffic?

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By an edhat reader

What was with the horrible traffic on the highways and backroads on Friday evening? Is the horrible traffic on almost all of the back roads through SB to Summerland due to apps like Waze directing traffic onto alternate routes? It’s nuts how even my secret short cuts are parking lots!

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a-1577576550 Dec 28, 2019 03:42 PM
Why Horrible Friday Traffic?

I heard that parts of I-5 were closed due to... maybe ice? Not sure, but all the cars that would have traveled that way were re-routed to 101.

a-1577577462 Dec 28, 2019 03:57 PM
Why Horrible Friday Traffic?

I5 was closed for over 36 hours...... Car-magettin for Santa Barbara

EastBeach Dec 28, 2019 04:23 PM
Why Horrible Friday Traffic?

Yes, Google Maps and Waze re-routed to the 101 due to snow/ice on Interstate 5 (Tejon Pass) and Hwy 14 south of Palmdale. Interstate 15 was also closed at Cajon Pass. Lots of south-bound drivers were taking 101 or 154 to Foothill to APS. I've never seen so many (lost) drivers around Roosevelt school taking skinny roads up to APS. They all got trapped near Milpas and Coast Village.

mtndriver Dec 28, 2019 04:26 PM
Why Horrible Friday Traffic?

Thursday also, absolutely crazy. People taking Cathedral Oaks and 192 all the way from Goleta to Carp, huge backups at every stop sign. I guess a lot of travelers got a peek at SB residential areas. I-5 closed for more than a full day, also 166.

FredMertzEE Dec 28, 2019 05:00 PM
Why Horrible Friday Traffic?

The traffic routing sure seemed inefficient and counterproductive, and showed to me some really severe limitations on the direction giving capabilities of the apps as well as the drivers that were blindly following them. I don't understand how it could have been any faster or save any time to get off the 101 and then try to drive across Santa Barbara, up the hills into Montecito, and then laterally over to Summerland before getting back onto the 101 again. There is a very steep and narrow road that is barely two lanes running up the hill near my house. It has no lights and is bordered on one side by a steep canyon drop off with no guard rail in most places. On the other side, there is a steep hill going up. So there is no shoulder, no way to turn around or pull over once you're on it, and very low visibility. And cars were backed up on that road for over half a mile. Just to get up the hill and end up at an intersection and stop sign, where they were waiting a long, long time to even have a chance of merging onto another street. The road is barely adequate and not particularly safe for local travel during the day, and it's one of the only ways in or out of the area if there's an emergency (whether medical, fire, flood, mudslide or something else). I couldn't believe people were being directed up that road because it generally isn't all that safe and would have made it impossible for any type of responder to arrive or residents to leave. Not to mention the traffic was moving less than one two miles per hour, so it would have taken people 45 minutes or more to move less than a horizontal mile on a detour that didn't get them any closer to a destination. Made clear to me that these apps should be viewed a bit skeptically and need a lot of improvement because they certainly do not take into account things like road conditions or travel suitability. It was pretty idiotic.

Thomas John Dec 29, 2019 11:00 AM
Why Horrible Friday Traffic?

They take into account the travel times of others using the apps at that current time. If uses are moving faster on city streets than those on the highway - they say take city streets.

oceandrew Dec 29, 2019 12:31 PM
Why Horrible Friday Traffic?

Why blame the app? It's not the apps' fault that diverted traffic detoured onto roadways ill prepared to deal with the overflow. They are just code written for normal circumstances not a "god's eye view" to what happened and how to get around as a consequence. I mean do you ask Siri or Alexa to solve all your challenges in real time? Do you expect them to?

oceandrew Dec 29, 2019 12:38 PM
Why Horrible Friday Traffic?

The only solution was for at least half the folks on the road to get off the road and let the remaining half get to their destinations and thus clear the road so the first half can complete their journey. That way some are inconvenienced and some aren't. The only app you'd need is the random number generator that decides who's in the first group or the second.

SB_TAHOE Dec 29, 2019 07:51 PM
Why Horrible Friday Traffic?

I am going to assume you don't have a job and can stay home for days on end. I own a business and part of my business is visiting clients at their locations. I can't just shut down, desert my clients and send all of my employees home because it snowed on the I-5. So maybe you shouldn't always say that. Some of us have to work for a living and have a valid reason to be on the road.

Bodyboarder73 Dec 28, 2019 06:43 PM
Why Horrible Friday Traffic?

The 101 was backed up from carp to paso because the 166 was closed too. Maybe it's time to consider widening the 101 to atleast 3 lanes on the central coast. This would be good for daily commuters safety, escaping town during catastrophes and other major highway closures far away and would alleviate a lot of the cars using the alternate city streets and causing more back ups.

a-1577589292 Dec 28, 2019 07:14 PM
Why Horrible Friday Traffic?

This is why me and mine don't travel during any holiday. So stupid to get caught in stop and go traffic. It's always highly amusing to see the travelers stuck in traffic or shown on TV sleeping at the airport. I guess with overpopulation people better learn how to pack t.p., food and water and other essentials for those "fun" holiday people jams. You go for it. We'll stay home and enjoy our time off.

SB_TAHOE Dec 29, 2019 07:57 PM
Why Horrible Friday Traffic?

You're indicating others are stupid. I think it's stupid to assume everyone on the road is on holiday and traveling. Not all of us have weeks and weeks off during the holidays. A lot of us are working and have to use the freeway for our jobs. I don't find people stuck in traffic amusing in any way.

Bodyboarder73 Dec 28, 2019 07:24 PM
Why Horrible Friday Traffic?

Tell that to the workers that had to drive in that don't get the holidays off or drive for a living.

a-1577602662 Dec 28, 2019 10:57 PM
Why Horrible Friday Traffic?

BODYBOARDER. And what percentage of the traffic is made up by those who weren't on holiday, I wonder?

mtndriver Dec 29, 2019 08:52 AM
Why Horrible Friday Traffic?

I wasn’t on holiday, and neither were my kids. Both got stuck just trying to get from upper State to Mission Canyon, different routes. Foothill was a parking lot and State St. wasn’t much different. Constance to Garden to Los Olivos, it was like after the fireworks on the 4th, but not so festive! 192 all down Stanwood and up Sycamore Canyon into Montecito was nuts.

SB_TAHOE Dec 29, 2019 08:00 PM
Why Horrible Friday Traffic?

I would guess more than 50%. The real problem was snow closing the I-5, not the holiday travelers.

a-1577590376 Dec 28, 2019 07:32 PM
Why Horrible Friday Traffic?

All of this was predicted on the very useful NOAA web product Travel Hazards Viewer Page (Transportation Decision Support), which shows local and national freeways systems and any impact, if any from weather related closures or incidents. Very useful, check it out.
https://www.weather.gov/wrh/travel?wfo=sgx

Bodyboarder73 Dec 29, 2019 05:22 AM
Why Horrible Friday Traffic?

Obviously the percentage of local workers caught in the holiday traffic was small. But I'm sure their were locals trying to get around from goleta to sb or carp that couldn't avoid it and were trapped for hours. NB 101 from goleta to paso was a congested mess while SB 101 wasn't quite as bad because it flowed better for some reason on Thursday. If their was a 3rd lane on the 101 all the way up north the flow of heavy traffic wouldn't have slowed enough to cause all the back up into the city backroads. All I'm saying is the 101 is not designed to handle that much traffic and it could have been catastrophic if their was an fire and we had to evacuate the city during a I-5 closure. I know this is another one of my pipe dreams, but I think it would have alleviated the situation. Maybe something needs to be done earlier out on I-5 prior to these storms such as prepping for snow and freezing temps with salt on the roadway. That's what they do in winter driving states. I don't know why it's not done here. It's cheap and makes sense to me.

Bodyboarder73 Dec 29, 2019 05:35 AM
Why Horrible Friday Traffic?

Nevermind prepping the I-5 with salt and continuing with plows doesn't work . I just read an article online on exactly that. The CHP shuts down I-5 because nobody slows down in winter driving conditions. Looks like we are going to see this play out every year. Maybe I need to look for a different line of work that doesn't involve driving here or maybe I'll flee this chaos and move if it keeps getting worse.

a-1577638722 Dec 29, 2019 08:58 AM
Why Horrible Friday Traffic?

If I-5 is closed because drivers don’t slow, ticket each and every one of them at the bottom of the grapevine: click them. Use the ticket revenue to augment taxes to construct a permanent detour around The 5 at the grapevine .

Thomas John Dec 29, 2019 10:57 AM
Why Horrible Friday Traffic?

I'm sure ticket revenue can't even cover trash pick up on a highway - much less building an new road.

a-1577673848 Dec 29, 2019 06:44 PM
Why Horrible Friday Traffic?

BODYBOARDER-----IF it gets worse? Be sure and touch base with us and let us know how your new location is working out for you.

Bodyboarder73 Dec 29, 2019 07:34 PM
Why Horrible Friday Traffic?

I've got atleast 5 more years here. My kids are still young. But yeah, I will stay in touch when I go. I'll always consider it home here. Tourist's and all.

a-1577710856 Dec 30, 2019 05:00 AM
Why Horrible Friday Traffic?

If I-5 cameras clocked every car and truck traveling downhill on the grapevine (like Ventura does on some roads), and every hour sent out hundreds of mailed speeding tickets to vehicle registered owners, millions of dollars could be collected every week.

Luvaduck Dec 29, 2019 07:12 AM
Why Horrible Friday Traffic?

It also puts a lot of wear on local roads designed for local and not through traffic.

a-1577635834 Dec 29, 2019 08:10 AM
Why Horrible Friday Traffic?

Construct a detour around the grapevine section; build another North South Freeway and rail system. Route 99 was completed in 1965. Interstate 5 finished in 1979 in Stockton. We pay huge gas/ fuel taxes to support fat pensions and big government. Demand better roads for the highest assessed state income taxes , fuel, and other taxes and fees paid.

a-1577673763 Dec 29, 2019 06:42 PM
Why Horrible Friday Traffic?

Yeah. Build more freeways. Who cares if wildlife habitat is destroyed. Cars are king. Cars rule.

a-1577710439 Dec 30, 2019 04:53 AM
Why Horrible Friday Traffic?

Wrong. Highway 101 was never intended to be a detour around the grapevine section of I-5 a major transportation artery which connects 3 countries: Canada, US and Mexico.

Factotum Dec 29, 2019 04:45 PM
Why Horrible Friday Traffic?

Check the sign, make that infinite "constuction" - a big CalTrans ooops in this infinite Carpinteria cone zone. (PS- good one!)

VinSB Dec 29, 2019 10:02 AM
Why Horrible Friday Traffic?

This happens whenever there is a problem with I-5... 101 can't even handle local rush hour traffic, let alone north-south traffic connecting major cities along the coast. Does anybody remember the local impact of other I-5 closures in recent history? I do, and they were just as bad. Holiday traffic wasn't the main cause of Friday's mess - an I-5 closure on an ordinary work day might have been worse.

Bodyboarder73 Dec 29, 2019 10:44 AM
Why Horrible Friday Traffic?

Been here 30 years and I always notice increased truck traffic when I-5 closes, but I guess I only recall a few other times when car traffic was this bad as it was this week. It was bad I thought, just not this bad. It seemed worse to me because I'm a route driver on the central coast and it was literally bumper to bumper all the way to Paso Robles on the NB 101. Which I'd never seen before in years past. Definetly more travels than ever as predicted.

a-1577673644 Dec 29, 2019 06:40 PM
Why Horrible Friday Traffic?

COASTWATCH: There are downvotes, but I upvoted because you are oh-so right. When gasoline prices drop, it's amazing how traffic suddenly gets much much worse.

VinSB Dec 29, 2019 04:00 PM
Why Horrible Friday Traffic?

In today's Noozhawk regarding tonight's weather forecast: "snow from the storm could fall as low as 2,500 feet along the I-5 corridor over the Grapevine north of Los Angeles — which could cause traffic to be diverted from California’s main north-south artery for a second time in a week.............................................................................................................................................................

Santa Barbara County endured 72 hours of crippling roadway congestion on Highways 101 and 166 beginning Dec. 26 after I-5 was closed by snow from the previous storm."

Factotum Dec 29, 2019 04:50 PM
Why Horrible Friday Traffic?

Traditional holidays are environmental hazards - dislocates too many people at the exact same time. Holidays additionally are no longer culturally appropriate in our diverse and un-chuched nation. . Ban them. Problem solved.

a-1577710122 Dec 30, 2019 04:48 AM
Why Horrible Friday Traffic?

Holidays help fuel our economy; encourages geographically separated family & friends to connect. Too bad Christmas/ Hanukkah/ New Year or Winter Break is so close to Thanksgiving.

a-1577709698 Dec 30, 2019 04:41 AM
Why Horrible Friday Traffic?

Check out this link for weather related road conditions: https://www.weather.gov/wrh/travel?wfo=sgx Local neighbors please post helpful gridlock updates on NextDoor.com

Shasta Guy Dec 30, 2019 08:55 AM
Why Horrible Friday Traffic?

I am up in Mount Shasta City for the week. All my traffic nightmares are far to the south of me. No back up on Foothill, no 1 hour travel time between Fairview and Las Positas, no red light runners at State and Constance, no bicyclists or joggers going full speed into intersections without hesitation... It’s all beautiful forests, patchy snow on the ground, blue skies, and crisp fresh air + zero traffic.

SantaBarbaraObserver Dec 30, 2019 09:12 AM
Why Horrible Friday Traffic?

Oh come on Shasta Guy, you forgot to mention the meth heads, lots and lots of meth heads. And with guns! Nothing is more peaceful than hundreds of meth heads with AR15's driving their trucks and ATV's through the forest... Amiright?

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