Copper Thieves Are to Blame for Your Hellish Commute Home

Your commute home looks something like this, right?
Last week, transportation scientists revealed an alarming fact: We're as bad as L.A. when it comes to gridlock on the freeways. No, traffic is not one of one of our most attractive qualities.

In 2011, the average driver in the Bay Area lost 61 hours to gridlocked roads and 25 gallons of gasoline. In other words, you shelled out an extra $1,266 sitting in traffic.

But how could all this traffic be, when BART is reporting unbearably high ridership and the rest of the Bay Area is apparently moving to Texas?

When in doubt, blame it on criminals.

As we learned this morning, these copper hogs are now tapping our freeway meter lights to fulfill their love for metal. According to the Mercury News, the crooks have ripped out copper metal from some 59 metering lights in the last year, creating what is better known to you as inhumane commuting conditions.

It takes months and months for state transportation people to get around to fixing one meter. So far, only 18 of those 59 have been repaired, Caltrans admits. And it costs some $35,000 to fix one meter.

Speaking of money, copper is going for $4 a pound at recycling centers, which, sadly, is about what you are shelling out for a gallon of gas these days.

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