Major Highway Systems of San Jose
The San Jose area has a large freeway system, including three Interstate freeways and one U.S. Route. It is, however, the largest city in the country not served by a primary Interstate; most of the Interstate Highway Network was planned by the early 1950s well before San Jose’s rapid growth decades later.
U.S. 101 runs south to the California Central Coast and Los Angeles and then runs north up near the eastern shore of the San Francisco Peninsula to San Francisco. I-280 also heads to San Francisco but goes along just to the west of the cities of San Francisco Peninsula. I-880 heads north to Oakland, running parallel to the southeastern shore of San Francisco Bay. I-680 parallels I-880 to Fremont but then cuts northeast to the eastern cities of the San Francisco Bay Area.
Several state highways also serve San Jose: SR 17, SR 85, SR 87 and SR 237. Additionally, San Jose is served by a system of county-wide expressways, which includes the Almaden Expressway, Capitol Expressway, San Tomas Expressway, and Lawrence Expressway.
Several regional transportation projects have been undertaken in recent years to deal with congestion on San Jose freeways. This includes expansion of State Route 87 including more lanes near the downtown San Jose area.
The interchange for I-280 connecting with I-680 and U.S. 101, a rush-hour spot where the three freeways meet, has been known to have high-density traffic similar to Los Angeles County interchanges. It was constructed years before its completion. The two bridges, with no on-ramps or off-ramps, stood over U.S. 101 at a 110-foot tall during the ’70s, before opening in 1981. In 2010, the interchange was named the Joe Colla Interchange.
Here is a list of major highways:
- I-280 (CA)/Interstate 280
- I-680 (CA)/Interstate 680
- I-880 (CA)/Interstate 880
- US 101 (1961 cutout)/U.S. Route 101
- California 17/State Route 17
- California 82/State Route 82
- California 85/State Route 85
- California 87/State Route 87
- California 130/State Route 130
- California 237/State Route 237
Central San Jose has seen a gradual expansion of bike lanes over the past decade, which now comprises a network of car-traffic-separated and buffered bike lanes. San Jose Bike Party is a volunteer-run monthly social cycling event that attracts up to 1,000 participants during summer months to “build community through bicycling”. Unfortunately, fewer than one percent of city residents ride bicycles to work as their primary mode of transportation, a statistic unchanged in the past ten years. In a typical year between 3 and 5 residents are struck and killed by car drivers while bicycling on San Jose streets each year.
San Jose is crossed by several major regional off-street paved trails, most notably the Guadalupe River Trail, Los Gatos Creek Trail, and Coyote Creek Trail. These trails extend from near downtown San Jose for dozens of miles to the north and south and are connected with each other via bicycle routes of varying quality. The city is planning to construct new trail extensions in coming years including the Three Creeks Trail and San Tomas Aquino Creek Trail.