The Dangers of Traffic Congestion

Traffic congestion isn’t just inconvenient, it creates some real problems, too. Consider these factors the next time you are heading out.

More accidents.

Stop-and-go travel increases the number of traffic accidents, which then slow down traffic even more. The Bay Area Freeway Service Patrol assisted drivers in over 5,500 traffic collisions just in the first half of 2022.


Increased travel time.

Traffic congestion means it takes longer to get to your destination, and travel times can be unpredictable. People are often late to work or for medical appointments, and can miss travel connections (like planes or trains).

Noah Berger

Worse air quality – it’s an equity issue.

Vehicle pollution on congested roadways means worse air quality for everyone in the Bay Area, but especially for neighborhoods alongside freeways. Historically, communities of color suffer from higher rates of asthma and other air quality-related health issues.

Karl Nielsen

Trucking impacts means higher cost for goods.

When trucks get stuck in traffic, it takes longer for cargo to reach its destination. The cost of goods goes up when food is spoiled, when time-sensitive items arrive too late, or when businesses need to extend their hours to accept late deliveries.

Noah Berger

So, what can we do to fight congestion?

When you travel for work or play, consider leaving your personal vehicle at home. Public transit, walking and biking are good options for many trips. Some 52% of trips are less than 3 miles long, and 28% of trips are less than one mile.

With the right safety infrastructure (like sidewalks and bike lanes), it’s possible for many people to travel without a car.

Joey Kotfica

What is MTC doing to help?

MTC is developing policies, research and resources to improve the experience of people who are traveling without a personal vehicle.

The Transit-Oriented Communities (TOC) Policy is just one piece of a larger puzzle to improve communities and bring resources together so more people can walk or roll to their destination.