Today was the first truly rainy day of the season, and with great predictability the traffic conditions were absolutely atrocious. A friend texted in a group chat to advise working from home if possible. Traffic in the Bay Area is bad enough on a good sunny day; mix it with heavy precipitation? Forget about it.
Late fall and winter is the time it rains in San Francisco, fairly consistently, so what I don't get is how are people not ready for it? Lack of preparedness is the only possible explanation for the slowdown that always happens when it rains, right?
Remember a few years ago when it snowed in Atlanta for the first time in never and drivers were caught off-guard? San Franciscans don't have that excuse.
Perhaps people are too squeamish about going at a normal pace in sight of the rain. Don't think Bay Area drivers skew towards the hesitant side? I bet you've never got stuck behind someone who refuses to merge out unless the oncoming car is a block away. One thing I admire about New York City drivers is that if there's a gap, they go for it. Quick and unobtrusive.
Anyways, for sure one shouldn't be blasting beyond 70 miles an hour when it's pouring down, but 50 shouldn't be the correct answer, either, and I definitely got stuck behind a few folks doing 50mph today. Unless a monsoon is coming down, going vastly slower than the speed limit on a major metropolitan highway is hugely detrimental to proper traffic flow.
Good news, though: everybody got a free cash wash today, and many more to come in the season. One of the little sweet joys of life is seeing the water beading off the car's sheetmetal: because it let's me know I've done a good job keeping it consistently waxed. To watch the pooled water glide off as I get up to speed on the highway is a always a treat, in a supremely childish way.