Watch CBS News

About The Bay: Oracle's Open World Creates Closed Streets, Traffic Tales Of Horror

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — You don't need to be an oracle to have the foresight that traffic will be a bigger mess than usual this week in San Francisco, especially near Moscone Center, where Oracle Open World is taking place.

About The Bay: Oracle's Open World Creates Closed Streets, Traffic Tales Of Horror

Sixty-thousand people are gathering at Moscone Center this week to discuss things I have no concept of.

"Oceaning: migrating from Oracle CRM on demand value-driven fusion HCM implementation," our tech guy Larry Magid said, trying to explain it to me as it all just went right over my head.

But here's what I do know:

They're closing Howard Street between Third and Fourths streets in front of Moscone Center until Thursday, making city traffic even worse than it already is.

It was just last week when the Folsom Street Bay Bridge off-ramp was closed for the next six months.

"The past two years, going across town, it takes approximately 15 minutes to now, almost an hour," a truck driver tells me.

He's in his truck all day and he's has horror stories as most commuters do.

"I ended up at the top of the Bush Street hill and it took me about 45 minutes to get down the hill," a woman says.

That's about two miles.

Howard Street is the way many commuters get to Highway 101 and I-280. And so I ask as I do every year at this time: why are we closing it so a private company can have a convention?

"It's not like where we kind of had to justify with America's Cup; we didn't know what we were doing. It was an event that not everybody relates to but conventions are our business," San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee says.

He says tens of millions of dollars will be spent and John Reyes of San Francisco Travel says it's the biggest convention of the year.

"Oracle has over 23,000 peak rooms per night," he says.

And if we don't do it, other cities are dying to have the business.

Yeah, it's an inconvenience, he says, and you may get stuck in traffic.

"When you're sitting in traffic what you should think is, you live in a place that is one of the most envious places that people want to live and work. And sometimes that's the price we pay but we have many other days where we can enjoy San Francisco," Reyes said.

"The city of San Francisco seems to be getting too small to accommodate all the people," a San Francisco woman tells me.

She knows we aren't getting any bigger.

Only the traffic jams are, especially when major streets are closed—as they will next month when we'll do it all over again for SalesForce.

You can hear Mike Sugerman's About the Bay reports on Mondays at 6:40am, 7:40am and 8:40am on KCBS All News 740AM and 106.9FM.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.