The flow of Bay Area traffic keeps getting slower and slower, but the commuters’ worst quagmires remain frustratingly unchanged, according to a report released Monday by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission.
Delays caused by congestion in the nine-county region climbed by about 10 percent between 2015 and 2016, and rose about 80 percent since 2010, the MTC reported in its annual study of weekday freeway congestion.
For the second consecutive year, the region’s worst slog belongs to the 6-mile evening commute that runs along northbound Highway 101, starting from Interstate 280, to eastbound Interstate 80 to the Yerba Buena Island Tunnel.
Westbound Interstate 80 between Hercules and San Francisco’s Fremont Street remains the most painfully slow morning commute, but is no longer just a problem during that time of the day. Bumper-to-bumper traffic on that 21-mile stretch of freeway now lasts all day — from 5:25 a.m. to 6:55 p.m. — and counts as the Bay Area’s second-worst commute.
Aside from that, every stretch of freeway on the 10-worst list is an evening commute.
Highway 101 southbound, from Shoreline Boulevard in Mountain View to Oakland Road in San Jose, ranked third worst. Rounding out the most dreadful five were Interstate 680 northbound from Mission Boulevard in Fremont to Andrade Road near Sunol, and Interstate 880 northbound from Mowry Avenue in Fremont to Winton Avenue in Hayward.
The analysis is derived from Caltrans traffic data and estimates of the number of hours annually that drivers spend creeping along at speeds below 35 mph.
John Goodwin, an MTC spokesman, speculated that the evening slowdown is worse than the morning commute because of an increasing number of people who leave home earlier to try to beat morning traffic. He said it’s a trend that has developed over the past couple of years.
Drivers are most likely to sit stuck in traffic in San Francisco, the East Bay and South Bay. Though commuters complain about drives throughout the Bay Area, the mid-Peninsula and the North Bay are noticeably absent from the 10 most-congested freeways list.
“Eight of the top 10 most-crowded commutes are routes to or from the Bay Bridge or Silicon Valley,” said Jake Mackenzie, MTC chairman and Rohnert Park mayor, in a statement. “The good news is that this shows the continuing strength of the jobs market in the South Bay and San Francisco. The bad news is that it shows how hard it is to balance where the region’s job centers are located and where comparatively affordable housing can be found.”
Bay Area congestion, Goodwin said, always tends to rise and fall with employment rates.
“Clearly, it’s tied to the strength of the regional economy,” he said. “And that’s by and large a good problem to have. But the downside of a lot more people working is that there are a lot more people on the road.”
Michael Cabanatuan is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: mcabanatuan@
sfchronicle.com Twitter: @ctuan
Ten worst Bay Area commutes, 2016
1. Highway 101 north, from I-280, and continuing on I-80 east, to Yerba Buena Island Tunnel during weekday evenings.
2. I-80 west, all day, from Hercules to Fremont Street, San Francisco.
3. Highway 101 south from Shoreline Boulevard, Mountain View, to Oakland Road, San Jose, during during p.m. hours.
4. I-680 south from Mission Boulevard, Fremont, to Andrade Road, near Sunol, during p.m. hours.
5. I-880 north from Mowry Avenue, Fremont, to Winton Avenue, Hayward, during p.m. hours.
6. I-280 south from Foothill Expressway, Mountain View, to 7th,10th and Virginia streets, San Jose, during p.m. hours.
7. I-80, east from West Grand Avenue, Oakland, to Gilman Street, Berkeley, during p.m. hours.
8. I-680 north from Crow Canyon Road, San Ramon, to Contra Costa Boulevard, Pleasant Hill, during p.m. hours.
9. Highway 24 east from interstates 580/980 interchange, Oakland, to Interstate 680, Walnut Creek, during p.m. hours.
10. Highway 4 east from Morello Avenue, Martinez, to Port Chicago Highway, Concord, during p.m. hours.