Adjust Your Traveler’s Drive Times! S.F Is Now the 2nd Most Congested City In The U.S.

The Most Congested U.S. Cities Are Ranked Below

There was a time a couple of years back when a traveler to San Francisco could count on getting from San Francisco International Airport to downtown San Francisco in just a little over 30 minutes. This distance is just a little over 15 miles and it is all freeway. Amazingly Google still shows the drive time as 30 minutes but they don’t have their main campus in San Francisco and so  Gooble workers probably haven’t been stuck in the freeway crawl shown above.

Both business travelers and vacationers need to take into account S.F.’s rise to become the back office for Silicon Valley and now even home to some of the most famous internet startups. All this means that both S.F. streets and the freeways which connect the city to other parts of the Bay Area now are congested most of the day and into the evening. Once upon a time, no to long ago the task of leaving the core of the Business District to get on the freeway to cross the Bay Bridge or to head south to SFO used to take less than 15 minutes. Nowadays at rush hour, that time to travel only 10 or 20 blocks is now 45 minutes and does not account for accidents or construction created lane closures.

Travelers with a 9AM business meeting downtown should schedule a flight that arrives no later than 7AM. If all goes well, they will board a taxi or Towncar by 7:20 and be in the city by 8:15, maybe 8:30. Travelers to Oakland Airport should count on at least one hour travel time and up to 2 hours at rush hour.

San Francisco is now the 2nd most congested city in the U.S.

Congestion is even worse further south of San Francisco in Silicon Valley with cars at a crawl for up an hour just to get to a freeway from a tech campus and then just a slow roll for mile after mile. More on this on later post

Not only is congestion is getting worse every year in the United States, in fact, the average US commuter spends 42 hours stuck in traffic a year, according to a report by the Texas Transportation Institute. Congestion is also a big reason why auto and tech companies are pouring money into everything from car-sharing to autonomous driving.

TomTom, a navigation and mapping company, ranked US cities that have the most traffic congestion in its 2017 Traffic Index. After collecting data over a nine-year time span, TomTom measured the extra travel time experienced by drivers over an entire year. TomTom assessed 189 cities overall and gave each a congestion score out of 100. Each percentage represents how much extra travel time it took on average to make any trip, anywhere in the city. Here are the 13 most traffic congested cities in the US:

Here is how it shakes out…

13. Baton Rouge received a score of 26%, meaning it took commuters 26% more time to travel anywhere in the city. This was a 3% increase from 2016.

12. Atlanta edged ahead of Baton Rouge with a score of 27%, also a 3% increase from the year prior.

11. San Diego had the same exact traffic score as Atlanta at 27%, also a 3% increase from 2016.

10. Boston received a score of 28%, a 3% increase from the year prior.

9. Washington D.C. barely edged out Boston with a score of 29%, a 3% increase from the year prior.

8. Honolulu received a score of 29%. That’s the same as Boston, but Honolulu has more congestion in the morning. Honolulu’s traffic score was the same as the year prior.

.7. Portland also received a traffic score of 29% overall, a 3% increase from the year prior. But Portland has a much higher concentration of traffic in the afternoon than Boston or Honolulu.

6. Miami received a score of 30%, a 2% increase from the year prior.

5. San Jose got a traffic score of 32%, a 2% increase from 2016.

4. Seattle received a traffic score of 34%, a 3% increase from the year prior.

3. New York actually barely edges out San Jose with a traffic score of 35%, a 2% increase from last year.

2. San Francisco has a high traffic score at 39%, a 3% increase from 2016.

1. But it’s probably no surprise that Los Angeles is the most congested city at 45%, a 4% increase from last year.

Source: 13 US cities with the worst traffic – Business Insider

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By buying Yahoo, Verizon scoops up a rare prize: Silicon Valley real estate – LA Times

By buying Yahoo, Verizon scoops up a rare prize: Silicon Valley real estateOne expert valued Yahoo’s Sunnyvale, Calif., campus at about $500 million. (Justin Sullivan / Getty Images)Andrew Khouri and Tracey LienWith its $4.8-billion acquisition of Yahoo, Verizon has snatched up an Internet pioneer with a massive audience.But it has also secured something equally coveted in Silicon Valley: real estate.When the deal closes, the New York telecom giant will become one of the largest office landlords in the nation’s technology hub thanks to the roughly 1 million-square-foot campus Yahoo owns in Sunnyvale, Calif. — a desirable position amid the current tech boom.“We have seen a big upswing in rents,” said Jennifer Vaux, a Silicon Valley researcher for brokerage Colliers International.Indeed, the office market has been on a multiyear upswing as tech giants and start-ups have expanded.See the most-read stories this hour >>Mark Ritchie, president of Ritchie Commercial, valued Yahoo’s Sunnyvale property at roughly $500 million. That’s one-tenth of what Verizon has agreed to shell out for the entire company — a percentage that reflects both Yahoo’s fall from grace as well as the demand for Silicon Valley land.Average office rents in the second quarter were $4.17 a square foot, nearly 70 cents higher than a year earlier, according to commercial real estate brokerage JLL. Vacancy, meanwhile, ticked down 1.5 percentage points to 12.1%.“Silicon Valley is really difficult real estate-wise,” said Ralph McLaughlin, chief economist at real estate firm Trulia.Tech giants, in particular, have been active in purchasing and leasing real estate.Facebook now has 3.5 million square feet in Menlo Park, Calif., and Google’s headquarters totals 3.1 million square feet in a Mountain View, Calif., campus known as Googleplex. Apple is also under construction on a second campus, totaling 2.8 million square feet, that’s set to open next year on 176 acres in Cupertino, Calif.And developers are still building. In total, they broke ground on 2.5 million square feet of office space in the second quarter, according to commercial real estate brokerage JLL.Still — like the tech boom itself — there are questions how long the good times can last, especially as venture capital funding declines. JLL said that leasing activity has slowed and new buildings are increasingly opening vacant.That dynamic, JLL said in its recent report, “reflects the beginning of a cooling period as tenants and landlords alike take pause to assess rent growth in addition to how much longer this cycle will last.”What Verizon ultimately plans to do with its new real estate hinges on answers to such larger economic questions, as well as some issues particular to the telecom.Verizon spokesman Bob Varettoni declined to comment, other than to say it intends to acquire “any real estate associated with Yahoo’s core business operations, including the Sunnyvale property.”There are several options once the deal is finalized, which is expected to happen early next year. Verizon could sell the real estate and lease it back, hold onto it and bet values will rise or sell it to another user.Such decisions, of course, are usually based on staffing. The Yahoo deal comes a year after Verizon snatched up Yahoo’s longtime New York rival AOL, which it said it plans to integrate with the Sunnyvale firm.How much overlap is found — and whether job cuts come primarily from Yahoo or AOL— will go a long way in determining how much Silicon Valley real estate Verizon needs.“A lot of this is still up in the air,” said Mark Rogers, a corporate governance expert who has been following Yahoo’s travails. “This is going to take some time to shake out.”If Verizon sells the property, Ritchie said it would find plenty of willing buyers. Most of the slowdown, he said, has been in the smaller office spaces sought by start-ups, which are struggling to secure financing after years of easy money. Venture funding in the U.S. was down nearly 18% in the first half the year compared with last year, according to KPMG.Potential buyers for Yahoo’s Sunnyvale campus could include tech giants like Google or foreign investors that have sought secure returns in Silicon Valley real estate amid uncertainty in global economies.“It would be a rush among institutional investors and technology owner users,” Ritchie said.If Verizon does decide to cash out, any sale could be a ways off. Bank of America, for example, acquired vast amounts of Southern California office space in 2008 when it purchased Countrywide Financial.NEWSLETTER: Get the day’s top headlines from Times Editor Davan Maharaj >>It took four years for Bank of America to sell 10 former Countrywide buildings to Los Angeles developer Rising Realty Partners, which has since resold eight of those.Verizon must also decide what to do with the property Yahoo leases, which according to CoStar Group includes about 131,000 square feet in Playa Vista.In recent years, Playa Vista, along

Source: By buying Yahoo, Verizon scoops up a rare prize: Silicon Valley real estate – LA Times

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Let’s go! Silicon Valley for tourists

Let’s go! Silicon Valley for touristsBy Matt HaberMay 11, 2016 Updated: May 11, 2016 2:23pm 0 Photo: Matt Haber A postcard from the edgeless, circa 2001.Back in 2001, when Mark Zuckerberg was 16 years old and people still sent mail, a friend, the late Bay Area artist Susan O’Malley, sent me a postcard from San Jose.On the front was an aerial photo of the Stanford Shopping Center. On the back Susan wrote, “I thought you’d enjoy this awesome postcard. Apparently they have built more parking garages at Stanford Shopping Center since this photo was taken.”Susan grew up in San Jose. In her 20s she had a wry take on her hometown, from the generic office parks to the backyard pools with cheesy water features. (Around the time she sent that card, she’d moved home from New York and dubbed herself artist in residence of her mom’s neighborhood.) Here, Susan seemed to be saying, is a bland dispatch from the blandest possible place, a postcard from the edgeless.Imagine my surprise, then, when I heard that tourists were flying into the Bay Area with the specific goal of visiting San Jose, Mountain View, Cupertino and other hamlets of Silicon Valley. There are even bus tours that promise photo ops for you to give a thumbs-up in front of Facebook’s “like” logo at 1 Hacker Way in Menlo Park, and walks along the hallowed campus pathways of the Googleplex, where the best and brightest Stanford and MIT graduates build the future between rounds of beach volleyball and sessions on the conference bike. (Look it up.)There’s even a hotel in Palo Alto called the Clement that offers a 24-hour guest pantry, rooftop pool with cabanas, and other ultra-luxe amenities to make you forget you’re in Palo Alto.Susan’s 2001 postcard from glamorous San Jose might have been a goof, but in 2016, Silicon Valley tourism is no joke.It was with this in mind that I recently boarded a Caltrain for Mountain View, also known as MTV by the hordes of day laborers bused in from the city. As the train left San Francisco, I felt like a gap-year tourist Eurailing into some untouched Mitteleuropean burg. What would I find in this enchanting land that time forgot?Since it was a Sunday, my companion and I exited the train and walked into an adorable farmers’ market. We sampled vibrant organic produce and fresh treats made by real-life farmers, including hummus (an exotic savory spread made with chickpeas) and cured olive fruits. (The farmer warned us that the seeds, known in the local dialect as “pits” or “stones,” were not edible.) I also picked up some strawberries that were far uglier, but more delicious, than the ones I usually get at Safeway.From there we promenaded along Castro Street. While it was less colorful than its San Francisco namesake, this Castro Street had fewer nearly naked people walking around. It also had charming spots like Molly Magee’s Irish Pub, established in 1997, nearly a year before Google, and Gelato Classico Ice Cream. For those traveling with children — or for overgrown man-children — there’s Rocket Fizz, a candy shop that features dozens of sodas inspired by celebrities like Kourtney Kardashian and Osama bin Laden.Walking around, I spotted several coffee places, like Red Rock Coffee, where patrons can sample European variations on the old American cup of joe, one of which is called an espresso and comes in the teensiest cup you’ve ever seen this side of a little girl’s imaginary tea party. To judge by the Starbucks, Peet’s, Phil’z and Coupa Cafe, the Valley runs on caffeine — plus toxic rare earth metals and tax loopholes.Of course, many of Google’s employees are probably getting their coffee — as well as breakfast, lunch, snacks, dinner, midnight snacks and predawn munchies — on the company’s campus. On this drizzly afternoon, we spotted a few groups of tourists speaking various foreign languages roaming around taking photos of iconic sites like the Google cafeteria sign.Had we gone during the week, I assume I could have asked to visit the room where all my searches are stored. The Googleplex is huge and sprawls in all directions, since each of its users’ search histories is stored in a separate room, making it the world’s largest repository of late-night ex-girlfriend searches and requests for images of various rashes and over-the-counter ointments (and, to a lesser extent, unguents).What few of those tourists probably know is that the gleaming Googleplex was built on a burial ground: It was originally the site of Silicon Graphics Inc., a tech company that filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2009, something that will never, ever happen to the new crop of tech companies.Proving it understands the importance of history, Google has erected an Android Statue Garden to display its early mascots, including fan favorites Lollipop and Eclair. (Remember when Eclair-mania seized the nation in 2009? What a time!) Conveniently located near the Google Merchandise Store, at least one TripAdvisor user rated the colorful sweets-themed walk

Source: Let’s go! Silicon Valley for tourists – San Francisco Chronicle

China Accuses Uber O

China Accuses Uber Of Unsustainable And Unfair Practices. Speaking to reporters during China’s annual parliamentary session earlier today, Chinese transport minister Yang Chuantang has accused certain ride-hailing
Source: Uber News