Letter to Editor: South San Francisco’s Uncontrolled Traffic Mess

South San Francisco, CA   May 23, 2018 by South San Francisco Resident of 45+ Years

I read the Letter to the Editor { Letter to the Editor: South San Francisco Screws Drivers Again!} about the horrific traffic problems due to the lack of adequate signage and notification to those using South Airport while the emergency repairs are being done to the Canal Bridge. I had some additional thoughts to share, and I know it is a rant, but this over building and traffic congestion has to stop.  


1. You can’t cram thousands of new apartments into town without adding thousands more cars to the streets, most of which were designed and built a century ago and are NOT wide enough and NOT LAID OUT to handle anything near today’s vehicular volume.


2. There is only one skinny cross-town road, that only goes half way of course, being Westborough.  just One way to get across a city of 70,000 people!?


3. Many intersections need new traffic surveys!


a. Many turn pockets cannot accommodate all the vehicles. causing “self-centered” drivers to back up blocking the thru-traffic lanes…. causing great frustration for many … as well as setting up grand-scale accident scenes….


b. Some of the signal sequences are obviously long outdated, need new studies to readjust signals to better serve, pass through today’s traffic volumes AND Directions of Movements. some of which have changed appreciably due to SSF City Council’s Build Build Build Passion Crusade…. you can’t put massive new developments in without altering the traffic FLOW (directions of heaviest movements) as well as, of course, the traffic VOLUMES previously discussed


c. Some of these signals OBVIOUSLY need modern sensor-activated light sequencing systems… rather than the very passé timers


4. Stop all the damned crowding of new apartments into town. and you will help save the traffic and congestion problems from getting far, far worse (if you can even imagine that!!! …. keep letting the damned city hall boys shove more apartments down our throats and we will wind up like this in SSF in almost no time!)


And yes, I got caught in the Costco traffic jam and it took 75 minutes to escape it, which I could not have done had it not been for a very courteous truck driver allowing me to enter his lane and then providing some cover for my Great Escape into the industrial zone where I had no intention of going…alas. but it was the only way out.  Where is the detour, at least, for the blocked bridge!?


Any professional traffic engineer could have seen that blocking Airport Blvd between Costco and SFO (two of the largest traffic generators in the Bay Area!) … would cause a Royal Mess!  For goodness’ sakes, what is going on in this town?


We need a city program to start purchasing and tearing down all these damned super-sized apartment blocks they’ve been shoving in everywhere …. they’re mostly ugly as sin but what’s even more important…, let’s restore SSF to a LIVABLE town!


Or if that’s not acceptable, then WHAT!?


Also, some parking lots at the new developments are patently under-sized, causing even more problems including, yes, traffic backups onto the streets. The (much-improved access, yes) at Westrough Plaza Shopping Center is rendered almost moot by the terribly-under-sized parking facility there.


They should have never been allowed to put up the peripheral buildings, rather that space should have been left for parking….at the very least.


Downtown parking remains bad …even with the new lot… we had to abort three recent trips downtown…due to traffic congestion and total lack of any parking spaces …. we managed to squeeze into a space 3 blocks away on our last downtown trip.  Horrible.  And if you go off hours to avoid the congestion and get a parking space, half the stores are…. quite naturally…closed.


What of the water and sewer and storm drains and other infrastructure, too? We have basically a 1920 or 1960 infrastructure in this city, depending which half of town you are at, and the council is still cramming thousands more people in here?   Who’s going to fix, and pay for, all the new pipes and pumps and lights and so forth and so on?  Why wasn’t there at least some Mello_Roos bonding districts put in on the new Super-sized projects?  No, the developers and wealthy immigrants won’t pay their way…. the city council is seeing to it that we all will have to pay for the costs of importing all these thousands of new folks into this small area with, frankly, antique infrastructure


OK I got caught for over an hour in the most horrible traffic mess ..so I am ranting.

sorry about that.


I just hate to see a nice town being destroyed… new developments are always to be expected in some measure, but how these are being done (and the sheer volume, size of all of them in such a modest-sized town) …it’s overwhelming and is why so many folks are angry, upset, mad, frustrated, and looking for political reform, change, improvement, whatnot.


And a brand new expensive civic center at an already-impossible traffic corner? Are they KIDDING us? What are they going do with the Orange Library? Shove another 500 apartments on it?



8 comments for “Letter to Editor: South San Francisco’s Uncontrolled Traffic Mess

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.