"It's the same as any other day," said Dieter Weihl, gesturing to the traffic flowing about 4:30 p.m. along West Grand Avenue.
The normally sparsely traveled truck route has become the main artery for funneling traffic after the destruction early Sunday of the busiest interchange in Northern California.
"Considering how bad it could have been, compared to the Loma Prieta disruption, this is really not that bad," Weihl said.
Maybe it was because motorists still avoided the gridlock feared after the destruction of two key East Bay freeway ramps that will take months and tens of millions of dollars to rebuild.
The worry is the trend won't stick, and Bay Area motorists will be climbing back in their cars as time passes, creating traffic mayhem.
"The real acid test is in the days to come," said CHP Sgt. Les Bishop at a Tuesday news briefing.
BART couldn't count passengers Monday because no fare was being charged, but observers placed on station platforms estimated ridership as the same as on any normal Monday; there was a bit of higher-than-usual use just before and after rush hours as commuters took advantage of extra BART service.
But fares were back in effect Tuesday, and BART counted about 158,000 riders from 4 a.m. to noon that's about 13,000, or 9 percent, more than average. BART added cars and its number of train trips during the peak commute periods to handle the added load, and
Demand for parking at BART stations has risen accordingly; riders are encouraged to take other public transit to reach BART, or to park at the BART stations at North Concord/Martinez, Richmond, Coliseum/Oakland Airport, Hayward, South Hayward, Colma, South San Francisco, San Bruno and Millbrae.
AC Transit spokesman Clarence Johnson, whose agency maintains a system of transbay buses, said Tuesday afternoon, "There was no visible spike in our level of ridership from today or yesterday; we're running just about normal on both of these days so far this week." As for slowed service, he said, "We really didn't have any delays, it's just unbelievable.
"We were really bracing for the worst, but so far it hasn't materialized."
Ferry manager Ernest Sanchez of the Alameda/Oakland Ferry Service, operated by the City of Alameda and the Port of Oakland, said his boats carried about 6,000 people Monday about three times the normal load.
"Today we don't have numbers yet, but it seems to be a normal, maybe even a quiet Tuesday," he said Tuesday afternoon. "It doesn't look like a spike today."
West Oakland, however, still is reckoning with the aftermath that has detoured motorists through the neighborhood that butts up against Interstates 80, 580 and 880.
Tuesday was at least quieter without noisy helicopters hovering above the neighborhood.
CHP has deployed additional officers along the West Grand corridor and at 7th Street to keep traffic flowing and keep an eye on drivers tempted to diverge from the designated route by making temporarily illegal left turns.
Their presence will last at least 60 days, and longer if necessary, said CHP Capt. James Leonard.
Crossing guards also will be present 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. along West Grand at Filbert, Myrtle and Linden streets.
Traffic began picking up about 5 p.m. as more motorists poured off eastbound Interstate 80 onto West Grand.
"It's kind of nice to have company," said Karen Cusolito on her way to work at American Steel on Mandela Parkway just past the West Grand intersection. "Otherwise it's a pretty desolate place."