What traffic reporters don’t tell you

I’ve long lamented the fact that traffic reports/reporters in this city are almost useless to the regular driver. They don’t help you much really, when you’re already stuck in traffic. They’ll tell you you’re stuck, which you know, but don’t tell you how to get out of it, which you’d like to know. Sometimes, you just gotta learn on your own.

Recently, I found a bit of a “shortcut” – I use quotes because the route is actually a longer way around distance-wise, but it takes less time to travel during rush hour. The culprit that I try to avoid? The I-5 South connection off eastbound 50 coming from West Sacramento.

This is one spot that typically jams up, as the one lane branching off 50 East to I-5 South clogs up. What’s worse, many people won’t let you merge once the traffic comes to a standstill. If you ever find yourself in this scenario, try this solution:

Take I-5 North (yes, I said North) and exit on Q Street.
Turn Right on 3rd Street, and follow along as it turns into Broadway.
Turn Left on 5th Street, by which time you should see signs pointing to the freeway onramp.
Hop on to I-5 South (by turning left off 5th Street), and Bob’s actually your Aunt Sally.

This will take you to a separate connection to southbound I-5, which flows much better than the one off 50 East. I’ve tried this route several times, pacing myself against notable vehicles lined up off 50 East to get on to I-5 South, and always come out quite a bit ahead.

And to the Hummer (isn’t it always a Hummer?) who wouldn’t let me in on the I-5 South connector and thus inspired me to find this shortcut, please know it was me who was shouting “BURN!!!” as I whipped past you.

3 thoughts on “What traffic reporters don’t tell you”

  1. Another option is to get off at 26th Street, take W all the way to 10th, then get on I-5 south. This also saves you from the dreaded W-X/I-5 connector. When traveling north on I-5 in the morning to eastbound 50, you can get off on Broadway and follow it down to 26th St. where it dumps you right onto 50, also avoiding the W-X. Just follow the dark green Cherokee with the Cal tow-hitch, and I’ll lead the way. (Yes, I actually use my 4WD on a regular basis.)

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