RICHMOND (KPIX 5) – Drivers using the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge are being told to ignore the electronic signs on the span during a testing phase over the next two or three weeks.
“This is a bit unusual and this is, uh, sort of new ground, if you will, for us here in the Bay Area,” said John Goodwin, the Public Information Officer for the Bay Area Toll Authority.
During the upcoming testing period, drivers entering the bridge from the San Rafael side will see red Xs and green arrows in various configurations, but officials are saying that these are just tests and drivers should not pay attention.
“If the far right hand lane has a green arrow over it, please do not enter the far right lane,” said Goodwin.
In addition to that, the two left hand lanes will be open, even if there’s a red X displayed above them.
All of this confusion is to test the new system that will allow that extra right hand lane to be open more often.
Oakland resident Rama Geroux drives the bridge three to four times a week during rush hour. He says any improvement on that traffic is a good idea.
“Any third lane sounds like a good change to me,” said Geroux.
Oakland resident Ray Keough also agrees that something should be done.
“Traffic sucks. I’m getting tired of traffic,” said Keough.
He also said this temporary approach makes no sense.
“I think it’s stupid to have arrows and ignore ’em?” said Keough
Goodwin admitted the toll authority isn’t completely sure how this is all going to work.
“What I don’t know is whether that lane will be coned off, I presume that at either end of the bridge it will be coned off, but I don’t know whether there will be a continuous line of cones stretching five miles from shore to shore,” said Goodwin. “I don’t know how much CHP presence will be there.”
Geroux said his plan is to take it in stride.
“I’m going to just be adaptable when driving and play it the way I normally do. Just drive safe,” said Geroux.
The new system is supposed to use cameras placed along the bridge to determine how much traffic there is. When there is traffic, a worker will open lanes using the signs as appropriate.