SF - Oakland Labor Day traffic mess HELP
September 2, 2015 6:17 PM   Subscribe

Calling Bay Area residents, how effed up is traffic going to be this weekend?

I live in LA but am from Oakland originally and am an As fan. Its been 10 years since I've seen them on home turf and since I didn't have plans for the long weekend I spontaneously bought 2 tickets for Saturday's game. Everyone I used to know in Oakland has moved but I have a friend in SF that I always stay with when I go up. He also agreed to go to the game with me. The plan was I would drive from LA to Fresno Friday night and stay in a motel to break up the trip, then arrive in SF Saturday early afternoon and together we would take BART to the game--easy!

Well no, of course nothing can ever be easy. I JUST found out the BART to and from SF/Oakland will be CLOSED ALL WEEKEND. And it appears that the Ferry is sold out, and busses will have extensive wait times. WTF. Luckily I'm driving and not flying in, but now I'm worried about insane gridlock. 511.org says to expect "heavier than normal Bay Bridge traffic" but doesn't say exactly how much. Will it take an hour to get across the BB Saturday afternoon..will both ways be bad or just getting into SF? Should I take the San Mateo bridge instead to get into SF? How much would UBER be if we took that to and from the game?

Or should I go straight to Oakland Coliseum, have him meet me? What about getting back into SF after the game around 10pm?? We had also wanted to BART so we could get drunk at the game, so in that case can I leave my car overnight at the Coliseum BART station parking lot?

Please help!
posted by hellameangirl to Travel & Transportation around Oakland, CA (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It's going to be absolutely fucked. Stay in a hotel in Oakland the night before the game, or something.

This happened a few weekends ago too.
posted by lisp witch at 6:20 PM on September 2, 2015

You can always try to cross a bridge further south than the bay bridge. Or go all the way around the bay. Use Waze and trust the data. Or just fly into Oakland.
posted by jeffamaphone at 6:23 PM on September 2, 2015

92 might be a drag, but if you're driving anyway you can check traffic and take the Dumbarton. I'm sure everybody else has this idea, though, so allow quite a bit of time. Probably the smartest would be to drive to one of the southern BART stations and take that to the Coliseum.
posted by rhizome at 7:04 PM on September 2, 2015 [2 favorites]

well, they similarly closed the transbay tunnel a few weekends ago and it wasn't that bad. although it wasn't a holiday weekend... that may be the difference this time... but famously SF is a bit quieter during burning man, so you never know. here's a report on the previous closure.
posted by iboxifoo at 7:58 PM on September 2, 2015 [1 favorite]

Yeah, it wasn't too bad last time. We didn't cross the bridge or anything, but we did trek down to San Jose (from Berkeley), and it was nothing Angelenos (which we were until five months ago) couldn't handle. Maybe go north to the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge, then drop down to the Stadium? Or catch the BART in Richmond?
posted by notyou at 10:21 PM on September 2, 2015

I forgot about the closure a few weeks ago and had tickets to the opera in Oakland both Saturday and Sunday. I took public transport there and back each day and had no issues; I probably wasn't delayed much at all.

The SF Ferry to Jack London Square worked well; they increased the number of runs to accommodate additional riders. To be clear this cannot be sold out ahead. (Though there may be a ballpark-specific ferry that sells advance tickets).

The BART shuttle bus between Embarcadero and 19th was quick; I was told there was a dedicated bus lane.

The baseball game itself will add to traffic/travel issues but the late July shutdown was not a disaster or even much of a problem. I had considered getting a room in Oakland which looking back was laughable.

Give yourself an extra 30 minutes to an hour and you'll be fine.
posted by mountmccabe at 10:23 PM on September 2, 2015 [1 favorite]

When they closed BART last month, I took the ferry and bus back and forth. The line for the morning ferry was long, but tickets are handled as you board so they don’t really sell out in advance. You might have to stay in line for another boat. On the return, BART was running numerous free buses from the Transbay terminal at Howard & Main to east bay stations and it turned out to be no problem hopping on with my bike.

Labor Day weekend is normally a low-traffic weekend in a typical year, so it’s the time they choose to perform bridge-closing maintenance (2013, 2009, 2007, 2006, etc.).
posted by migurski at 10:54 PM on September 2, 2015

If I were you I would just drive at like 7 am from SF, get a super yum breakfast in oak, and hang out at a park til the game.
posted by bookworm4125 at 4:57 AM on September 3, 2015 [1 favorite]

I forgot about Burning Man! So everyone still goes to that, huh? I hope for my sake they do!

Hmmm, so the Ferry is still an option? I guess what sold out is a specific one to/from AT&T park. Apparently there is a Billy Joel concert going on Saturday, and thats what the BART website advised east bay concert goers to use.

And I guess there's hope with the busses too. I just got to push my friend to get a head-start in the morning. I'm the anxious type and he's the relaxed, late-to-everything type.

Thanks everyone for your help!
posted by hellameangirl at 10:22 AM on September 3, 2015

Yes, you can take the San Francisco Bay Ferry. Leave SF from Pier 41 or the San Francisco Ferry Building (near the Embarcadero BART station) and take the ferry to Jack London Square in Oakland. From the Square it's about a 3/4 mile to Lake Merritt BART station and you can take the BART to the Coliseum stop.

The SF Bay Ferry will take the Clipper card or you can buy tickets on the boat during the voyage.

Details on the BART bus.

Enjoy the game!
posted by mountmccabe at 12:11 PM on September 3, 2015

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