With mass protests, demonstrations and arrests rocking the Bay Area today in what is turning out to be an epic day of unrest, there’s also likely to be tremendous fallout in an arena that impacts everyone, not just those of us carrying signs and shouting slogans. You guessed it. Traffic!
Since you already have a commute that drives you insane, here are some likely traffic snarls related to today’s rallies and demonstrations to beware of. Plan ahead to avoid the nastiest traffic conditions and note that some bus service will also be impacted.
A series of demonstrations in Oakland will likely generate traffic woes. A morning protest at the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office has already resulted in arrests. Avoid Broadway if you can, at least until the afternoon when the action will shift to the Fruitvale district.
A larger demonstration will take place at 3 p.m. at the Fruitvale Plaza. Staying off International Blvd. between 2 and 6 p.m. may be a good call.
Organizers said longshoremen will also walk off the job, shutting down the Port of Oakland, a major factor in traffic on the 880 corridor, which is a already a nightmare even on a good day. If you can lay your hands on one of those flying car prototypes, now might be a good time.
In San Francisco, protesters clad in red and white blocked access to the Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) office at Sansome St. early this morning. There will be a 11 a.m. rally at Justin Herman Plaza with a later march to Civic Center via Market Street, which means that traffic may well be heavy downtown throughout the day. Sidestep Market Street from now until 5 p.m. Bus service may also be interrupted.
In San Jose, there will be a 1 p.m. rally at Mexican Heritage Plaza at Alum Rock Avenue and King Road, and then a march to the SAP Center. Officials have set tow-away restrictions from 12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. for parking along Santa Clara Street and Alum Rock Avenue from King Road to the SAP Center, according to the city’s Department of Transportation. Expect Santa Clara and Alum Rock to be blocked off mid-afternoon during the march.
Police will determine additional road closures as necessary depending on crowd size and other factors. A rolling closure of streets running north to south will also occur as the San Jose march progresses from the Mexican Heritage Plaza to the SAP Center, officials said.
If you are taking public transit, take note that bus service will be rerouted on Alum Rock Avenue and Santa Clara Street to McKee Road and East Julian Street, between King Road and Autumn Street, according to the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority.