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Carpool Lane May Finally Be Headed To Peninsula Highway

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Traffic jam on a California highway (AP)

Traffic jam on a California highway (AP)

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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