SAN FRANCISCO -- Gorgeous weather and a big weekend of boats, bluegrass and ball games did not result in traffic meltdown, but rather a boom in public transit, officials said Sunday.
On Sunday evening, most Bay Area freeways were flowing without significant backups as visitors made their way out of San Francisco after the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass music festival, the Blue Angels precision Fleet Week flying and a dominating 49ers victory over the Buffalo Bills.
"It's been a good day," said California Highway Patrol Sgt. John Carman, who noted that his own commute to work for the evening shift was smoother than normal.
Crowds were still expected to hit the roads Sunday evening after the conclusion of Game 2 of the National League Divisional Playoff series, with the Giants hosting the Cincinnati Reds at AT&T Park. Fans were also packing HP Pavilion in San Jose on Sunday night for the second of Madonna's two concerts.
BART reported carrying 319,484 people on Saturday, exploding its previous Saturday record of 278,586. The previous record was set Sept. 1, 2007, in the midst of three major sporting events and a closure of the Bay Bridge, BART spokesman Jim Allison said. Ridership numbers for Sunday were not yet available.
Transit may have seemed like an even better option to many people as gasoline prices remained at record-breaking levels Sunday morning. Californians were paying on average $4.65 a gallon for regular, according to AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge Report.
The biggest trouble seen through the big weekend was a violent demonstration in San Francisco's Financial District on Saturday afternoon that led to 22 arrests. Police said the black-clad demonstrators gathered at the former Occupy camp at Justin Herman Plaza and ended up clashing with officers. Some protesters threw sandwich bags filled with paint and rocks at police.
Another protest was moving through downtown Oakland on Sunday evening, but police said there were only a few broken windows, no injuries and no arrests.
The weather was decidedly less volatile. San Francisco's famous fall mildness lived up to its billing Sunday with sunny skies and a high of 62 degrees, according to the Weather Channel website.
Staff writer Daniel M. Jimenez contributed to this report. Contact Joshua Melvin at 650-348-4335. Follow him at Twitter.com/melvinreport.