Highway 101 in Peninsula could get toll express lane to ease congestion

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A notoriously congested stretch of Highway 101 in the Bay Area could be getting some relief. (KGO-TV)

A notoriously congested stretch of Highway 101 in the Bay Area could be getting some relief.

Transportation officials are looking into adding a pay-to-play express lane between Interstate 380 near SFO and Whipple Avenue in Redwood City.

This stretch does not have any kind of carpool lane. Metropolitan Transportation Commission has cobbled together federal funds so that San Mateo County can study the impact of creating a lane for not only HOV, but solo drivers who are willing to pay.

"It's no big surprise to run into traffic at the point, for no reason," said Alek Chan.

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission says Highway 101 between 380 and Whipple Avenue is one of the most unreliable stretches of highway in the Bay Area.

"That roadway is bad now, it's been bad for years and it's only going to get worse unless we do something about it and we can do something about it," said Randy Rentschler of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission.

The San Mateo County TransportationAuthority will look at multiple options, including a traditional carpool lane. But the MTC believes an express lane is the only way to go. It's basically a carpool lane that solo drivers can pay to use.

"Express lanes are always there for you. They're priced to make sure the traffic is always moving, transit buses can get in for free, carpools can use for free but we can use that lane to its maximum capacity by allowing people to buy in," Rentschler said.

Commuters are anxious for any solution.

"I have to see what the fees are like but I'd be interested. There is also a potential coworker, might incentivize me to commute with her," said San Francisco resident Taleen Houck

"It alleviates traffic for everybody, right? Not just the people using the express lane but also for people in the other lanes," said San Francisco resident Alek Chan.

The study is expected to take more than two years to complete at a cost of $11.5 million.
Related Topics:
trafficstudytraffic delayHighway 101toll roadSan Bruno
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