All commute drivers know the spots.
Highway 24 near the Caldecott Tunnel.
Interstate 80 near Berkeley.
The 580-680 interchange in Pleasanton.
These are some of the worst morning and evening traffic messes in the East Bay.
But what causes them, besides just a lot of cars?
Is it bad drivers? Slow drivers? Inexplicable freeway design? (Think Interstate 680 in Alamo).
A new study from U.C. Berkeley and MIT researchers suggests one of the major factors is people who drive a long way from home to work.
A story in the Contra Costa Times detailed the findings. The researchers say these long distance commuters (such as someone driving from Antioch to San Francisco) are like a school of fish clogging up roads as they go along.
Some of the worst traffic spots were noticed in Dublin, San Ramon and Hayward.
The researchers, who tracked 350,000 Bay Area drivers via their GPS and cell phone signals, say targeting these drivers and reducing the number of vehicles on the road by 1 percent would cut the average driver's commute by 14 percent.
Officials from Caltrans, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and other regional agencies are looking at the study to see what measures can be taken. One of the alternatives is to install freeway metering lights near the origins of some of the long distance commuters.
What do you think? Are long distance commuters a major problem? What should be done to help ease the commute on East Bay freeways?
Tell us in the comments section.