Blog: The Bay Area is Getting Crowded

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The Bay Area is Getting Crowded - Thursday, October 11, 2018
Over the past several years, I've noticed Bay Area traffic getting worse, stores getting more crowded, and high rise apartments going up along busy streets. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the population for Santa Clara County was 1,682,585 in 2000 and 1,781,642 in 2010. It'll be interesting to see what the count is in 2020, but the estimate for 2017 was 1,938,153. That's an 8.8% increase in the last 7 years. In contrast, San Francisco County had an estimated population of only 884,363 in 2017 - less than half of Santa Clara County. Not what I expected.

Here's what traffic looks like on a typical day when I want to leave work:

Traffic map

It takes me about a constant 32 minutes to bike from home to work or vice-versa. During times of heavy traffic, it might take me 37 minutes to drive home. Freeways and expressways turn into parking lots. Working from home is starting to look like a better option.

Perhaps the one silver lining of all this population growth is that our home value has appreciated by 85% since we bought it nearly 5 years ago. Which is not necessarily great now since it means that our property taxes go up by the maximum allowed amount under Prop 13 every year, but I guess we'll be happy the day we decide to sell and move somewhere less crowded.