REDWOOD CITY (KCBS) – It’s an idea that’s been floated for the past several years, perhaps even a decade or longer, and now transit planners are moving forward with a $200,000 study on the feasibility of converting one of the four lanes on a stretch of highway in San Mateo County into a carpool lane.

Currently, there are no carpool lanes on northbound Highway 101 once drivers hit Redwood City’s Whipple Avenue.

KCBS’ Anna Duckworth Reports:

“Extending the carpool lanes north to at least SFO and it may be 380 is another possibility, or the county line,” John Goodwin of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission suggested the potential scenarios.

According to Goodwin, the idea kept getting “tabled” in the past because a lane would be converted – instead of added – on the roadway.

“That’s what these studies do is look in very great detail at the corridor and what would be required to make the changes that are under consideration,” he reasoned. “So that’s a big factor in a lot of that corridor is whether there’s sufficient room to make the kinds of changes in the roadway configuration that are necessary.”

The study was expected to formally begin this summer, and no immediate changes were expected. Rather, Goodwin said it would likely be several more years before any changes would be made – if at all.

Naturally, advocates were hopeful.

“As we all know, driving your car particularly with gas prices continuing to rise is costing drivers a lot more than it did a year ago,” pointed out Christine Maley-Grubl, executive director of the Peninsula Traffic Congestion Relief Alliance. “It could be that shorter commute times certainly would result in better air quality by reducing the number of cars on the roads.”

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Comments (4)
  1. Tom says:

    The reality is that with a car pool lane the other lanes will have more cars, causing more pollution, additional cost to drivers due to the increased use of gasoline caused by the stop and go driving. It will mean more revenue for San Mateo County when they issue lane violation tickets for single car occupied vehicles driving in the commuter lane. Why not make all lanes commuter lanes? Think of the benefits! I have always wondered who gets the money for a feasibility study. It is something that anyone can do but who is the lucky person who is paid? The term “ feasibility study” so often is given to something that is understood before it is even suggested. Should the sun rise in the east and set in the west? Let us have a feasibility study and pay $200,000 to someone’s brother in law to make that determination. Where does the money come from? Why it is the feasibility study kitty.

    1. Mark says:

      Exactly correct! Thank you Tom. These social engineering laws designed to force changes in driver behavior are abject failures and cause more problems than they solve.

      With the price of gasoline these days don’t these know-it-all idiots realize more people would car pool if they could? The problem is that most folks’ work demand-driven schedules don’t allow people like me that option. My work hours vary on an almost daily basis.

      Until society makes a major investment in an efficient, integrated public transportation system we will be stuck with personal transportation (i.e. cars and motorcycles) for the bulk of our commuting.

  2. Steve says:

    I agree with Tom. Add a lane or forget it.

  3. DanDan says:

    Don’t people pay attention to the research that has already been done? HOV lanes exacerbate the traffic problem. While the incentive to carpool is well intended the outcome is not optimal. They need to be looking at removing all the carpool lanes from roads.

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