Traffic pilot program easing traffic issues for Foster City

FOSTER CITY, Calif. (KGO) -- Depending on who you ask, Foster City is either where you live or a shortcut between major freeways. The city in the Peninsula has seen a deluge of traffic over the years with the advent of driving apps.

Google maps, Apple, Waze often direct drivers through town to get between major freeways Highway 101 or State Route 92.

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"Foster City is in this triangle-- Highway 101 is going northbound, Highway 92 is going eastbound to Hayward and Foster City is just a shortcut," says Norm Dorais, Public Works Director for Foster City.

That prompted Foster City to implement a left turn restriction on E. Hillsdale Blvd. during rush hour traffic in February. That means no turning onto Edgewater and Shell boulevards between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m and no U-turns allowed. City council just approved another three-month extension.

So far, residents notice the difference.

"Way better than it was before. I'm really happy about that," says Claudia Jones.

Jones has been stuck on the street before. She hopes the programs stay.

But for Jocelyn Swanson, a Foster City resident of 25 years, it's only a minor improvement. She says that drivers have been getting around the restriction by making U-turns in the shopping plaza. She knows it's a problem without an easy solution.

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"We were going to Oakland to meet friends, getting out of Foster City was horrible."

Dorais says he proposed the extension so they can collect more data. Anecdotally, they are seeing less traffic since the restriction was implemented. But, other residents are complaining that it's now harder to get around their own neighborhood.

Dorais hopes that the driving apps will give his team better support. Despite submitting the new restrictions, it's not always reflected on all the apps.

"We've had varying success."

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