The 7 Worst Traffic Problems In Fresno

Like you and most Fresnans, I do a lot of driving. I even do it for work so I get around Fresno a lot. I see things. Things I can’t unsee. But that is not what this is about.

This is about Fresno traffic. We are not even close to the kind of stuff the Bay, Southern California or Sacramento sees, but we most certainly have problem areas.

These are the ones that stand out to me while puttering around town.

BULLARD & 41. This is especially true heading West on Bullard but it sucks overall. If you have no interest getting onto 41, it’s best to use Barstow or Sierra instead.

SHAW & 99. Mostly it’s the traffic heading East as it gets backed up to Polk. It’s a one-lane bridge, for freak sake even though it’s a major entry point into Fresno. And don’t get me started on how Caltrans has never landscaped this portion of 99 and the highway has been around 60 years or something. Although they did just do some half-assed planting of trees around the Southbound offramp, so that’s something I guess.

THE MCKINLEY CURVE. Maybe Fresno’s most famous traffic area. Heading North, 41 dangerously curves just as 180 dumps cars onto it. It’s never not sketchy.

BLACKSTONE & NEES. Ya got River Park. People getting onto 41. People getting off 41. Occasional protesting. Begging. In & Out. It has all the things!

FRIANT, FRESNO STREET & 41, FRIANT EXIT OFF 41. This is going to get worse. And worse. And worse. More retail building. More building around Copper River. One day there will be, like, a seven-story office building right there. Not fun.

180 WEST AT 99 NORTH EXCHANGE. From about 3 PM to 6PM, if you are on 180 and you want to get to 99 North, ya need to be gettin’ over to the right lane once 41 South has completed dumping its traffic onto 180 and yes now I am thinking of The Californians sketch from Saturday Night Live.

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HERNDON & GOLDEN STATE. This actually flows pretty well when there is no train. But when there is, look out man, it backs up super fast.

HONORABLE MENTION
  • Shaw, Barstow, Chestnut and 168 anytime there is something happening at Save Mart Center.
  • Exiting 41 North onto Shaw.
  • Shaw & Golden State Blvd when there is a train.

Please feel free to leave your picks for worst traffic areas in Fresno, in the comments.

Alright, that is settled, time to watch some Californians.

Author: The Fresnan

Hey, Mikey Seay here. Local nerd. Longtime blogger and podcaster. I love talking local, Star Wars, beer and other junk. Find me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat: @thefresnan CHEERS!

3 thoughts on “The 7 Worst Traffic Problems In Fresno”

  1. I swear, the McKinley Curve Northbound is accursed. Cars stall there for no apparent reason, making for big surprises after you get through the crazy double-merge from 180 and McKinley. I’ve come closer to getting hit at other places, but nowhere has such consistent crazy problems. Even if everything is flowing smoothly people still slow down there, maybe because they can’t see all the way to Shields. Been that way since the Ikeway opened. Downright creepy.

    1. Yes yes totally. And I have always wondered about the slowdown even when there is not the traffic to warrant it. It’s like every knows not to speed through it or they are inherently spooked.

  2. the 99/shaw has to be improved. As you said its one of the main exits into fresno. The lack of landscaping through the 99 in Fresno just makes the city look bad. Bad for first impressions for anyone new or passing through. On top of the bottleneck that happens on that exit/entrance. Same goes for 99/herndon. There are a lot of housing developments in between the shaw and herndon exit west and during the work week all these residents have to put up going through 1 lane roads to enter the 99 whether its on herndon or shaw. The annoying part is there have been plans in place for the new exit inbetween (Veteran’s Blvd) for at least a decade I’ve heard https://www.fresno.gov/publicworks/wp-content/uploads/sites/17/2017/10/Veterans-Boulevard-INFRA-Narrative.pdf , but only now is it feeling more serious. It would place a new exit and overpass between herndon and shaw on the 99 to serve all the residents west of the 99. It should also beautify parts of the 99. Also the HSR authority working on the area in herndon and 99 also will make things look nicer. Honestly, the HSR authority has helped make things better on the 99–such as that mcckingly overpass and 99 realingment. That section looks nicer/cleaner, and all of the 99 through fresno should too. Madera’s and Bakersfield’s section of the 99 looks a lot nicer and presentable. Makes them look like bigger cities than fresno when both of them combined don’t even exceed fresno’s population. Then add in the current talks about the west area plan https://www.fresno.gov/darm/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2018/03/WestAreaExistingConditions.pdf
    https://www.fresno.gov/darm/planning-development/plans-projects-under-review/#tab-18
    The 99 needs to greatly improve

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