Bad Traffic? Let’s Make It Worse


Lennar Builders

The new housing development near BART promises to add new, technology-driven apartments.

Darsh Singhania, Staff Writer

As more and more companies relocate to Silicon Valley, cities such as San Jose, San Francisco, and Palo Alto have become more expensive due to increasing job opportunities and a growing population. This forces towns like Fremont to expand their residential areas, creating additional rolling suburbs and neighborhoods. The increased housing developments near the Warm Springs BART Station are the most recent reminder of this fact. It remains, however, that this construction will create a negative impact on the people and communities near it by increasing traffic throughout the city.

Every teenager knows the constant struggle of getting enough sleep while getting to school on time, and the housing developments will increase commute time by adding more cars and pedestrians to Fremont’s crowded streets. According to the Nationwide Children’s Hospital, adolescents need nine and a half hours of sleep, and teenager’s bodies feel tired around 11 am. In an ideal world, teenagers should be sleeping around 11 to12 and waking up at 8:30 to 9 AM and then going to school, but this never happens. Instead, as children get older, school starts earlier and the workload gets heavier, cutting down the amount of sleep they get. This problem is massively compounded by traffic congestion in the morning. Longer commute times, even five to ten-minute delays, significantly hurt people’s sleep cycles and increase stress in the morning, reducing the restorative powers of sleep. The housing development only makes this worse. Construction around South Grimmer Avenue has created significant intrusions into the street as large vehicles take up entire lanes and blockades cordon off sections of the road. This pushes cars into just one lane, creating a massive backlog of cars that cuts off several intersections and creates a complete halt to all movement further back on South Grimmer. This makes life significantly more difficult for students going from Weibel to Irvington High or Horner in the mornings and forces all other drivers to take the Automall freeway exit, causing congestions and backlogs there too. The new housing developments near Warm Springs BART would exacerbate this problem, bringing more cars and pedestrians to the already crowded streets.

Construction will not be the only source of congestion. Over the next few years, Lennar Construction hopes to create hundreds of townhouses as well as a new elementary school, Lila Bringhurst Elementary, in the area. This will increase the number of students that attend Horner Jr. High and Irvington, as there are no plans to build more junior high and high schools. Proponents of the housing development assert that the new school will relieve pressure from Warm Springs and Weibel, decreasing the distance parents have to travel to drop off kids in the morning and helping both students and parents with sleep and time management. However, these students will be moving into to Horner and Irvington in the future, meaning there will still be significant traffic on South Grimmer because these houses are built in this location. Furthermore, this elementary school and the new townhouse units will increase the number of people moving to Fremont, meaning that the population will continue to grow and overstrain the junior and high schools in the area. 

At the end of the day, the construction around S. Grimmer Blvd and near the BART station will create negative impacts on the lives of people who live in that area. With more homes come more people, but with no change in the size of roads, congestion will increase. This congestion will only increase commute times for everyone.