Post bridge-break traffic

Morning radio reports sounded dire — Hayward city streets in gridlock due to a deluge of commuters trying to get to the San Mateo-Hayward Bridge. Jackson Street backed up, solid, to Foothill.

However, Hayward Police traffic division Sgt. Jeff Lutzinger said it wasn’t so bad.

“We had some minor congestion, but we get that every day,” Lutzinger said. “For the spontaneousness of the (Bay Bridge) closure, I was surprised we didn’t have bigger problems.”

Lutzinger said he was very worried coming in to work about what the morning traffic would look like.

“I didn’t know what I would get stuck in,” he said. “But if the bridge does not open tomorrow, I only hope things can go as smoothly as they did today.”

Officer Christina Tagle of the California Highway Patrol said that all things considered, Hayward-area freeways “went pretty smoothly. Traffic cleared out and by 9:30 or 10 it was back to normal, and nothing major happened.”

However, Tagle said that doesn’t mean there weren’t a lot more cars on the road. She estimated that it took commuters about twice as long to get through the area. “Plan on giving yourself an extra hour,” she advised. “People just need to be patient.”

Online traffic reports indicated things were getting sticky around 3 p.m., and we will soon see what the afternoon commute brings. There’s also a CHP incident report page that’s useful for finding potential freeway troubles.

Anyone have an eyewitness report, either from a.m. or p.m.? Or suggested alternatives to the main arteries that you’d care to share?

Eric Kurhi

  • Scott Moore

    I admit that I am tempted to not tell since I need to get to actually drive to the Peninsula tomorrow, but hey, for loyal Haywordians, here’s what I have been doing for about 8 years:

    – A Street West
    – Left on Santa Clara
    – Cross over Winton (watch your speed, it’s 25 the whole way, there’s a school zone and you’ll be passing the Police Dept)
    – When you get to Jackson (the 7-11), turn right, and get into the far left lane quickly.

    Tomorrow might be horribly backed up because of the overflow, but on regular commute days, I think it’s faster and a lot less stressful than sitting in stop-and-go all down foothill.

  • J. W. Kyle

    Mr. Moore’s suggestion is not really neighborly; if he is a Haywardite interested in serving his neighbors it would be well not to advise short cuts through whats ia residential area. Santa Clara bewteen A and Winton is essentially a two lane street ( one lane in each direction) and if I were one of those residents, I would be incensed (steamed up ?) about his suggestion.

    How many will run tyhe Blvd stop signs along WInton and jackson? Plenty kids walking to school there……

  • there was hella traffic on Jackson today. the lights at the Five Flags intersection went out.