Earlier this year, the City of Fremont conducted its 2016 community survey among 600 registered voters and randomly-selected Fremont residents. One of the findings from this survey confirmed that traffic congestion is among the community’s major concerns. Considering traffic issues span the entire Bay Area and that this region is one of the top three traffic-plagued regions in the country, it’s no surprise Fremont residents are concerned.
Silicon Valley is experiencing tremendous job growth with roughly 50,000 new jobs created annually over the past few years, with only about 5,000 housing units in the region added annually. In other words, development growth in Silicon Valley is severely imbalanced with only one new housing unit built for every 10 new jobs added. This results in workers traveling longer distances to their workplaces, putting strain on local freeways, city streets, and regional transit systems. In fact, recent news of Dublin ranking as the fastest growing city in Northern California and San Joaquin County (Stockton and Tracy) as the fastest growing county in the state should be no surprise to anyone.
In the heart of Fremont lies the Interstate 880, Interstate 680, Dumbarton and Niles Canyon corridors, which serve a vast majority of Silicon Valley commuters. This concentration of commute-heavy routes leads to overflow traffic moving through Fremont streets and neighborhoods and creating severe traffic congestion “hot spots” near Mission Boulevard/I-680, Paseo Padre Parkway/Washington Boulevard/I-680, and Mowry Avenue/Mission Boulevard/Niles Canyon.
Fremont is working to address the issue of traffic congestion through a variety of efforts:
- $500,000 allocated for speed lumps on neighborhood streets with high traffic speeds as a part of the City’s Vision Zero traffic safety program
- Peak-period turn restrictions pilot program for cut-through streets
- Improving the efficiency and flexibility of the City’s aged traffic signal system to utilize current and future technology improvements for better signal coordination.
For regional relief, there are several larger-scale projects that will be implemented over the next few years by various Bay Area public agencies.
- The Warm Springs/South Fremont BART Station will be opening in the fall. Everyone is counting down the days knowing it will give much needed relief to the 880 corridor—the second worst commute in the Bay Area just after the Bay Bridge. Following on the heels of the new BART station opening, additional stops at Milpitas and Berryessa are scheduled for 2018 as part of Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority’s (VTA) BART Silicon Valley Extension.
- The I-880 Express Lane project will complete construction in early 2018.
- I-680 Northbound Carpool/Express Lane project will start construction in 2017 and be complete in early 2019.
- The Altamont Corridor Express (ACE) is proposed to increase from four to six trains in 2020, and to 10 trains in 2025.
The City of Fremont is doing everything in its power at both the local and regional levels to address traffic congestion issues not only in Fremont, but across the Bay Area.
You can view our infographic for more information.