Future Cupertino Traffic Projections

[Note: this article has a followup that include data from the latest General Plan numbers for anticipated growth.]

Here are some census data from 1990 to 2010 of adults 18 years and older:

1990: 31,533;    2000: 37,083;     2010: 42,227

When the data is plotted in Excel it was close to being a straight line with a population growth rate of 534.7 per year.  I used this population growth rate to calculate the population in 2015, 2040 (25 years from now), 2065 (50 years from now), and 2090 (75 years from now).  I then assumed that 90% of the Adult Population own cars to calculate Residential Cars.  Then I assumed that the number of Other Cars from out of town people coming to shop and work was half the number of Residential Cars.  From that the Total Cars was calculated from the sum of Residential Cars and Other Cars.  See Table below:


Year Adult
% of 2015
1990 31,533 28,380 14,190 42,570
2000 37,083 33,375 16,687 50,062
2010 42,227 38,004 19,002 57,006
2015(Now) 44,901 40,410 20,205 60,616
2040(+25yr) 58,268 52,441 26,221 78,662 30%
2065(+50yr) 71,636 64,472 32,236 96,708 60%
2090(+75yr) 85,003 76,503 38,251 114,754 89%

The assumption that the number of cars from outside of our city is based upon such things as the new Apple Campus which will employ an estimated 13,000 employees will likely bring in an estimated 8,000 more cars into our city in the next 3 years, the new Main Street project and other commercial construction likely to bring in most of its employees from out of town, the proposed revitalized Valco Shopping Center, and the new Cupertino General Plan projecting significant commercial growth in the next 8 years.

From the Table the % of 2015 Cars will increase by 30% in 25 years.  It will increase by 60% in 50 year from 2015 and 89% in 75 years from 2015.  This is a 1.19% increase in cars per year.  Simply put our roads will need to support progressively more cars.  Much of this traffic will be in the morning when people are going to work or in the late afternoon and evening when people are returning home from work.  Traffic will be a nightmare.  This is not sustainable unless fewer people drive cars in the future.  But there are no signs of that in Cupertino.  Only students and low wage worker are taking public transportation and almost no one walks or rides their bikes.

It is clear that something needs to be done soon to either deal with the increase in cars in terms of road and parking lot infrastructure or to reduce the number of cars on the road.  The city needs to have a strategy to deal with this or residents will be greatly inconveniences in the future.  That is the purpose of this blog, to propose a Vision that reduces cars and car traffic as population increases.

About Frank Geefay

Sustainable Bicycle and Smart Growth Advocate
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4 Responses to Future Cupertino Traffic Projections

  1. cupertino2040 says:

    Thanks believe your numbers are low.

    Sent from my iPhone Gary



    • Frank G says:

      Bary, based upon the newest GPA of 3.5 million sq. ft. I would tend to agree with you. This article was strictly based upon census projections and does not consider the explosion of new office employees. At 200 sq.ft./employee we should expect 17,500 more employees in the next 6 years all likely from out of town driving to work. Add to that 8000 Apple employees expected to drive to work that adds up to 25,500 more cars in 8 years. This does not include employees from Main Street and other ongoing projects.


  2. Pingback: Letter to City: Future Growth and Traffic in Cupertino | Biking Cupertino

  3. Pingback: Future Cupertino Traffic Projections (Updated) | Biking Cupertino

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