Is it me or is there less traffic on the road?
I drive highways 1 and 17 often during various times of day and I must say, travel is a breeze compared to what is was a year ago.
For example, during 5 p.m. drive time traffic one recent Friday, it took me about 20 minutes to go from Soquel to Watsonville on Highway 1. What? That’s unheard of except for during non-peak traffic on a non-peak travel day. Usually, it takes about an hour to get to South County at that time.
I asked officials with the California Highway Patrol and Capitola Police if I was off the map on this.
“Ramona, you are on the mark,” said Captain Todd Mayer, of the Capitola Police Department. “There is less traffic on surface streets and highways.”
So, with fewer vehicles on the road, does that mean people are driving faster?
“Of course, with lighter traffic there are some drivers who tend to take advantage of that by putting their foot down on the accelerator,” said Officer Hugh Holden, CHP spokesman. “When gas was up near and above the $4 per gallon mark, that's when I saw reduced driving and reduced speeds. It’s an interesting correlation. Seems like the more expensive gas gets, the slower people go.”
What do you think, Street Smarts readers? Are you noticing lighter traffic around town, too? And have you changed your driving habits because of it?
By driving habits, I don’t necessarily mean speed. Rather, are you more or less mindful about when you run your errands or do you leave out for work closer to the time you actually have to be there?