Interstate 5
Interstate 5 north of San Ysidro. Photo by Chris Stone

In what may be one of the few improvements in daily life since the pandemic began, freeway traffic in San Diego County is down by nearly half since the stay-at-home order.

A SANDAG team analyzed travel on eight of the county’s freeways from mid-March to mid-April and found overall traffic volume had decreased by 44% from a year ago.

The numbers are still staggering at a combined 434 million miles traveled on the eight freeways on weekdays, but that compares with 769 million miles during the same period in 2019. The biggest decreases in traffic volume were on Route 163 and Interstate 5.

“During this time, daily travel on San Diego regional freeways has been drastically reduced, either because San Diegans are working from home or are not working at all,” SANDAG said it its report.

With less traffic, speeds are up dramatically — an average of 30 mph faster at during peak periods. The biggest difference was on northbound Interstate 805 at Interstate 15, where the speed was up by 49 mph.

So, while you may not have many places to go during this pandemic, you can certainly get there faster.

SANDAG said it will continue to monitor traffic volume and speed throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.