Manville Explains Why Freeways Are Congested Again

Michael Manville, associate professor of urban planning, was cited in a Mercury News article about heavy traffic congestion on Bay Area freeways even though many jobs remain remote. The COVID-19 pandemic as well as remote and hybrid work schedules opened up highways and roads, which encouraged people to drive more until highways were once again full. “Traffic congestion is not only annoying — it acts as a deterrent,” Manville said. “If traffic goes down, then people are going to see the freeway is empty and get into the car and go somewhere else.” He explained that even though Californians are commuting less, there are still many reasons for them to continue driving on freeways. Some solutions to this issue are to break the habit of solo driving by encouraging people to use public transportation more often or by enforcing congestion fees to discourage people from driving at peak hours.


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