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Sacramento’s Most Congested Roadways

Citizen polls and studies of traffic in Sacramento make one thing alarmingly clear; road congestion is a problem. Many say it gets worse every year, making 2015 the worst of all recorded in the city. There are particular hot spots in and around the downtown area that are a nightmare to drive through regardless of day or time. It’s almost impossible to get anywhere in a timely manner during rush hours. There have been many ideas and slated projects but as of yet, the congestion is heavy. Below you will find some of the most congested spots in Sacramento.

The Exposition Boulevard and E Street ramps onto the Capital City Freeway are always bottlenecked. The incapacious American River Bridge and the crush the Union Pacific railroad overpass on the south side of the bridge causes are to blame. Caltrans has begun discussions on prospective fixes, but nothing is expected to come to fruition for years.

Some of the worst congested areas get even worse near the holidays. Shopping centers and malls can be a nightmarish. Shopping centers like Arden Fair and the Westfield Galleria are nearly impossible to get in and out of in a timely manner. Even Five Star Boulevard and Stanford Ranch Road, blocks away, can be a mess of maddening stop and go traffic. 

The Howe Avenue and Watt Avenue bridges are notorious for their rush hour congestion. Many locals cancel their regular activities if it entails crossing either bridge. It just isn’t worth the frustration, especially if you have to do it to work as well. Rush hour can begin anywhere from 3:30 to 5:00 in these spots and last way past 7:00. 

The Sacramento portion of I-80 is becoming more and more of a nuisance every day. The constant switching of lane numbers as the interstate crosses the state cause a great deal of disruption in the ebb and flow of traffic. A lot of people call these accordion traffic jams. The lanes twitch back and forth from three to four and back again to three just as you enter Sacramento. Traffic becomes stop and go for miles. There is also the issue of the years of congestion at Caltrans’ freeway broadening on I-80 through Natomas and North Sacramento. If the light rail ever comes to fruition out here it will be a game changer. 

Most legislators are busily looking for solutions to some of these issues while others seem forgotten or pushed to the back burner. There are plenty of ideas and proposals but nothing much seems to be getting done. It has been years since any practical proposal was put into place and its results are arguable.  

These are issues that will not go away overnight, in fact, they get worse with the passage of time. As those in charge launch discussions and run polls, it gets worse. Many things can change in the near future that could make it even worse. New housing developments always bring more Interstate traffic. The time has come for decisions and action.