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SFO to Stockton on Friday afternoon

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Kapolei, Hawaii
posts: 33
reviews: 21
SFO to Stockton on Friday afternoon

My wife and I will be arriving at SFO at 2:30 pm on a Friday and driving to Stockton. I plan to take the San Mateo bridge, 580, 205 and 5 to get to Stockton. Where should we expect traffic bottlenecks along this route and are there any ways to avoid them other than delaying our drive until after rush hour?

Near Yosemite...
posts: 3,129
reviews: 6
1. Re: SFO to Stockton on Friday afternoon

Plan on a slow go trip. You will find bottlenecks and slow traffic probably all the way until you hit I-5. There is a commuter lane on 580 through the Livermore area on the far left lane. If you have two or more in the vehicle, you are allowed to drive in that lane. This may or may not help you.

I made a similar trip not too long ago on a Friday afternoon and it took me an extra hour on the road.

Berkeley, California
Destination Expert
for Berkeley
posts: 5,543
reviews: 59
2. Re: SFO to Stockton on Friday afternoon

It'll be a slow drive. Let's just hope your flight is on time and car pick-up is easy. Getting on the road after 2 on a Friday can be a real pain all the way from the airport through Tracy (past the 205/580 split). Luckily the carpool lanes start at 3:00, which will speed up the trip a little.

If you have the opportunity, I recommend flying into Stockton or Sacramento instead.

California
posts: 10,878
reviews: 12
3. Re: SFO to Stockton on Friday afternoon

I have done that drive recently on a Friday. I was kicking myself that I wasn't able to get on the road before 3:00. That section thru Tracy is a mess and there is some construction on I5 through Stockton if you need to head north once you get there. Pack you patience and allow an extra 30 minutes to arrive at your destination.

Corona del Mar, CA
Destination Expert
for San Diego, Orange County, California
posts: 32,912
reviews: 344
4. Re: SFO to Stockton on Friday afternoon

So you know how traffic looks at 8AM on the H1 heading to Downtown from Kapolei??? Kinda like that.....

If you land at 2:30PM and have your car by 3:15PM, I'd almost be tempted to tell you stick around Burlingame for a bit, but you'd need to stall for four hours and that isn't easy.

San Francisco...
Destination Expert
for San Francisco
posts: 20,823
reviews: 114
5. Re: SFO to Stockton on Friday afternoon

why don't you map it out in maps.google.com at 3pm PST and see what the traffic looks like and you will get an estimate of the time.

I've gone to the Modesto Stockton area in the morning and come back at night and it was not too bad going against traffic. My point being, why not spend a couple of hours around the area and have dinner and leave at night.? I see you brought that up in the OP and I think it is a good idea. If you leave around 7.30 it should be better

I would not spend 4 hrs in Burlingame. Go to the city spend some time there, have a nice dinner and then get going

Edited: 6:05 pm, February 28, 2013
California
posts: 10,878
reviews: 12
6. Re: SFO to Stockton on Friday afternoon

I don't seee how hanging around the airport wasting hours and hours is better than just getting on the road and spending a little more time in traffic. Certainly if they left by 3:30 they'd be in Stockton wayyyyyy before 7:30. Seriously, it's not so dreadful that you'd sit around for 4 hours waiting to drive, would you?

San Francisco...
Destination Expert
for San Francisco
posts: 20,823
reviews: 114
7. Re: SFO to Stockton on Friday afternoon

well my point was that I would rather spend a friday afternoon and evening in San Francisco and have dinner here than Friday evening in Stockton (with due respect to my friends who live in that area). I presume the OP is going for work or to UOP and unless there is someone they have to meet Friday evening, I would go later. that is all ;-)

Edited: 6:24 pm, February 28, 2013
California
posts: 10,878
reviews: 12
8. Re: SFO to Stockton on Friday afternoon

Oh, got it!

Kapolei, Hawaii
posts: 33
reviews: 21
9. Re: SFO to Stockton on Friday afternoon

Mahalo for all of your input! I wish we could hang out in SF until traffic dies down, but the reason we're going is to visit our son at UoP. He won't appreciate us having a nice dinner while he waits alone in his dorm that emptied out for spring break. As scottca075 surmised, we live in West Oahu with some of the worst daily traffic congestion in the nation so an extra half hour is no problem for us. As long as we don't have to sit in a freeway parking lot for an hour we'll be happy.

San Francisco...
Destination Expert
for San Francisco
posts: 20,823
reviews: 114
10. Re: SFO to Stockton on Friday afternoon

See I guessed you were going to UOP ha ha I thought it was to check out the school but I guess your son is already there. So no worries. Just make sure you sign up on the frequent renter program for your car so that you can just take the AirTrain to the rental car center and drive off with your car. It may take you at most 2 hours and unless there is an accident it won't be a freeway parking lot