Highway 101 to get two carpool lanes | News | Mountain View Online |


Highway 101 to get two carpool lanes

VTA will widen 101 between Mountain View and Palo Alto

Work has begun to create double carpool lanes on the 3.2-mile stretch of Highway 101 between Highway 85 in Mountain View and Embarcadero Road in Palo Alto.

The work will include merging lanes and a second carpool lane in both directions of 101, according to the Valley Transit Authority.

The $72 million project will include widening the southbound Oregon Expressway onramp, adding a lane on the southbound Old Middlefield Way onramp and adding meters the northbound Ampitheatre Parkway and San Antonio Road ramps.

Completion of the project is planned for late summer 2013.

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3 people like this
Posted by Michael Allen
a resident of Whisman Station
on May 1, 2012 at 2:17 pm

So does this mean that instead of there being a huge jam where 85 and 101 meet up, there will now be two huge jams? One where 85 meets 101, and another where the second carpool lane peters out?

I hope CalTrans knows what it's doing.

3 people like this
Posted by vfree
a resident of Waverly Park
on May 1, 2012 at 2:22 pm

One of the carpool lanes should be set aside for SUVs and trucks, they get better mileage when they don't have stop n go traffic to deal with.

3 people like this
Posted by Martin Omander
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 1, 2012 at 2:26 pm

Any solution that encourages carpooling without making it harder for non-carpoolers gets thumbs up from me. Sounds like this fits the bill.

3 people like this
Posted by LaneeLee
a resident of Shoreline West
on May 1, 2012 at 2:28 pm

So this new $72 million dollar section of freeway will now restrict four (two each direction) lanes of traffic instead of only two (one in each direction)? And this is supposed to lighten the gridlock?

Or is it all about the money? By creating MORE gridlock, commuters will be 'forced' to shell out the premium charge to use one of the two restricted lanes (which I guarantee won't be moving much faster than the non-restricted lanes).

I wonder how Google feels about the prospect of all that traffic that will be diverted through their campus (along Bayshore), once people realized they can drive along Bayshore for free??

3 people like this
Posted by Will S
a resident of another community
on May 1, 2012 at 3:05 pm

Link: Web Link

Some clarifications: the second carpool lane is an added lane, so it's really going from 2 restricted lanes out of 8 to 4 out of 11-12. Non carpoolers keep their existing lanes and get the benefit of the added merge lanes (NB 101 stays 6 lanes wide until Rengstorff, instead of 85 and Shoreline onramps both merging into the 4th lane right after Middlefield).

6 people like this
Posted by Alex M.
a resident of Willowgate
on May 1, 2012 at 3:10 pm

Utterly ridiculous. Every study conducted has shown that HOV lanes actually increase congestion (for example, Web Link), and that congestion is relieved by maximizing traffic throughput, which one does by opening up all lanes.

Doubling the number of HOV lanes will serve to decrease congestion within the HOV lanes. That's it. It won't provide any benefit to traffic throughput. Sure, it *may* provide a greater incentive to carpool, but a 3.5 mile stretch will have negligible impact.

HOV lanes seem like a good idea, but so far the research and experience shows that HOV lanes are merely a failed social experiment.

3 people like this
Posted by Sly
a resident of Castro City
on May 1, 2012 at 4:30 pm

What a waste is $$$ 90% if the vehicles are in the non carpool lane. Frkn VTA.

3 people like this
Posted by Waldo
a resident of Waverly Park
on May 2, 2012 at 8:32 am

Waldo is a registered user.

@ Alex M - Thanks for the informative web link.

3 people like this
Posted by Old Ben
a resident of Shoreline West
on May 2, 2012 at 8:57 am

It seems that California has a new state motto: "If it ain't broke, fix it 'til it is."

4 people like this
Posted by kman
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 2, 2012 at 11:18 am

Last I saw, there was no troubles in the HOV lanes. Not sure why they would want to add another HOV lane since the problem is with the non HOV lanes. Another example of backwards thinking by the Gov.

5 people like this
Posted by Mike
a resident of another community
on May 2, 2012 at 10:42 pm

VTA wastes more taxpayer money than any other government agency. We would all be better off if they were disbanded.

4 people like this
Posted by Otto Maddox
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 4, 2012 at 7:54 am

Here we go again. The current carpool lanes aren't full. What do we need to add a second one?

And if you've ever been to L.A., which is the only place I've ever seen double car pool lanes, their traffic is still horrible.

But you frequently see TWO carpool lanes EMPTY while sitting in that horrible traffic.

The plan to get the traffic off the highways is to get the cars off the highways. So eventually all lanes will be carpool lanes and then you'll have nice and emtpy highways. We'll all eventally be crammed into filthy buses with terrible schedule on routes that don't go anywhere near where we work.

Big Government at its best. When the first plan doesn't work, THROW MORE MONEY AT IT! We just weren't trying hard enough the first time.

5 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 10, 2016 at 9:08 am

Forgive the epic necro but...

Friday evening I was appalled at the amount of traffic on south 101. The bridge construction has created a nightmare. But just south of it, on a daily basis, we have all of traffic crammed into 3 lanes for a substantial stretch, while two carpool lanes sit there unused. It is quite shocking to see.

Not only is this utterly irrational, it is also very dangerous. We have two lanes with an occasional car doing 70 mph, next to a wall of rush-hour traffic at a standstill.

Evidently, the "two carpool lanes" idea has been an abysmal failure that has badly exacerbated congestion and polluted the air.

Is anyone being held accountable? Does anyone actually consider this a success? Why is one of the lanes not being opened up? Why is no one raising this deliberate, hellish congestion as a glaring problem that must be addressed immediately?

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