A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

What happened to ‘nine to five’?

Written April 9th, 2024 by Hasso Hering

Traffic inched its way toward the Ellsworth Street Bridge on Thursday afternoon, April 4, 2024.

Most weekday afternoons, traffic bunches up on the way into Albany via the Ellsworth Street Bridge on Highway 20. But sometimes I’m puzzled by the time of day when congestion starts.

The photo with this story was taken on the afternoon of April 4. This was a Thursday, and it was 4 minutes past 4 o’clock.

So I was wondering: Why is there all this congestion at 4 in the afternoon?

I assumed at least some of the traffic was people trying to get home from work. So did they get off work at 3:30? What happened to work days lasting from 9 to 5?

Peak hour congestion is nothing new on Highway 20. But why does the peak hour come so early in the afternoon?

A few  months ago the Albany City Council got a consultant’s recommendations for how to lessen congestion at this entrance to downtown.

Some of the suggestions seemed simple enough and didn’t require construction or great expense. But no changes have been made, or even started. And if the changes require ODOT involvement or consent, it will take years to get anything done.

So if you want to avoid congestion at this entrance to downtown, you have a choice. Leave work even earlier, or work an hour or two later into the night. (hh)

8 responses to “What happened to ‘nine to five’?”

  1. khzs says:

    Depending on work and the workplace, some have flexible hours so someone could take the drive home earlier and work from home, but then it increases the traffic before 5pm as well.

  2. MarK says:

    I know what will help. Switch from 22 new homes to 80 townhomes in North Albany…… NOT!

  3. Mike says:

    Most likely that’s school traffic. It’s insane how many parents drive to pick up their kids every day.

  4. Dala Rouse says:

    I live north of Salem Ave. If I can help it I don’t leave my house between 4 and 6 as it is hard to get across Salem Ave. and out of my neighborhood.

  5. RICH KELLUM says:

    Hasso, in the industrial world, standard day is 7 till 330 with 30 minutes for lunch, it was only “Bankers hours” that was from 9-5.

  6. Bruce Milligan says:

    It is simple! increase the length of time the through traffic gets at the light and let the side street wait a little longer. This would give the through traffic more time to get moving and clear the backlog of cars.

    Also, quit building in North Albany. Too much traffic from North Albany and Corvallis going through Albany.

  7. Teresa says:

    In the 35 years I commuted to and from Albany to Corvallis I never ever worked a 9-5 job, I worked 6a-2p/7a-3p/9am-9pm/2p-10/3p-11p etc. Most 9-5 are corporate and office type jobs. Most service or healthcare jobs work the hours I listed.

  8. khsss says:

    Stop building in North Albany will not help as the traffic is from north side of the bridge going south. Actually more housing in North Albany would mean less traffic over the bridge…

    I think traffic comes from Corvallis and from Salem people taking shortcuts driving south to Lebanon and south Albany.


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