Is Central San Jose a Great Place For Commuters?

Commuter’s Guide to Living in Central San Jose

The quiet streets during the COVID-19 pandemic made it easy to forget about traffic. We cruised down roads unobstructed, instead of inching through the city. Unfortunately for everyone, lengthy commutes are back nationwide.

One study estimates that the average San Jose commuter spends three hours in traffic, listening to podcasts and taking in the selection of cars. In the constant battle against rush-hour traffic, choosing the right area to live in is a winning move.

We’ll cover the places to avoid during rush hours, cycling options, public transportation, and great neighborhoods for commuters.

San Fernando Street in Central San Jose

Traffic and Rush Hour in San Jose

Thriving cities always get congested around rush hour. In the central and metro areas of San Jose, ‌rush hour times are typical. Evening rush hour is worse than in the morning, adding roughly 6 minutes to every 10km traveled. Morning rush hour adds 3 minutes to a 10km journey.

Weekday rush hour in central and metro San Jose:

  • Mornings: Most severe congestion from 7 am to 9 am
  • Afternoons: Peak congestion is around 5 pm. Traffic increases between 3 to 7 pm.

Traffic is much better on weekends. Midday is the busiest time to travel around, though it’s far less congested than any weekday.

Is San Jose A Cyclist-Friendly City?

Moderate weather and flat terrain are both ideal for cycling. The City of San Jose completed around 400 miles of bikeways in 2021. City Council approved The Better Bike Plan in 2020, which has three main objectives:

  • Safety: increase the safety of cycling in the city for all ages and purposes.
  • Mode Shift: make cycling a better option for residents using vehicles or public transport.
  • Equity: construct a plan that serves areas that are historically underserved