A new study by the California Department of Transportation says rush hour gridlock in big cities is worse than ever since Donald Trump was elected president.
“Traffic-flow technology shows that people are avoiding alternate routes, but driver surveys say people have different reasons for subjecting themselves to unnecessarily long commutes,” said Caltrans spokesperson Eric Chole.
“Many liberal drivers say they’re protesting the president by refusing to follow ‘alternate route’ signs, but others insist the signs are fake,” said Chole. “We’re still analyzing the data.”
Caltrans officials say they won’t stop educating the public about making sensible driving choices, but off the record they admit that despair has taken root in the department.
We interviewed road crews at several construction sites around northern California, and workers say the despair is real and driven by multiple factors.
“People have gone insane,” said one Pavement Grinding Technician II who refused to give his name. “Caltrans is being sued by a UCSD student who got hit by a car while protesting on the freeway, and people are saying alternate route signs are fake news. I don’t know how much longer I can do this job.”
Other workers agreed. “My job is to keep people safe,” said a woman highway flagger in an I-880 construction zone near San Jose. “You wouldn’t believe the amount of hate I get, mostly from people with peace sign bumper stickers. It’s insane.”
Chole declined to comment on the alleged despair, but Gov. Jerry Brown’s office issued a statement saying that “logistically, avoiding alternate routes may not make sense, but morally and socially and politically it makes every sense, because it binds the driving community together into The Resistance.”