Q COSTA RICA – Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, the traffic congestion of the Greater Metropolitan Area (GAM) of San Jose went beyond the nightmare, with an additional 50,000 vehicles circulating, of which 3,000 are school buses, as the 2017 public school year (Curso lectivo in Spanish) begins.
Adding to the congestion is return to work for many as the return to school also means the official end summer vacations, that is the period between the two month break (December and January) in the school year when many in Costa Rica head to the beaches and resorts.
To give you an idea how bad things were this morning, there were reports that the autopista General Cañas, from the airport to San Jose, was already busy around 4:00am. Natalia Suarez, the 6:00am news anchor at Telenoticias, said many of her colleagues who arrive in La Sabana early, told her of their first hand experience.
On the Ruta 27, it was stop-and-go from the Coyol. During my morning walk, around 7:00am, from the Cuidad Colon tolls, I was walking faster than the vehicles headed for San Jose. From that vantage point I could see three rows (on the two lane highway) of congestion past the Santa Ana crossing.
What was upsetting is to see the number of large trucks, including tractor trailers, on the road.
Traffic on the many routes from Heredia to San Jose was no better. At 6:00am the Telenoticias cameras showed long lines of traffic (again including heavy trucks) in the areas of Santo Domingo and La Valencia.
The congestion is expected to continue for the better part of the day, dimishing as the morning hours fade, only for more of the same to start in the early afternoon.