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Why a pay lane for 680 South instead of North?

Original post made by Marie, Downtown, on Apr 13, 2010

I drive from Pleasanton to San Jose everyday for work. When I get to carpool it is great there is a carpool lane going south but why not north, the traffic is worse trying to get home. And now we taxpayers are paying for a "pay lane" going south that will be used in junction with the car pool lane. We need a carpool lane going North, why hasn't this been done years ago?? I am not going to pay to get to work sooner, traffic isn't really that bad going that way. Why carpool if it does you no good going home? Is there someone we can write to?

Comments (14)

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Posted by Curious
a resident of Del Prado
on Apr 13, 2010 at 12:27 pm

I've been asking the same question for years. I posed it to Mr. Roadshow at the Mercury News and he stated "there are no funds for a Northbound HOV lane". But apparently there are funds to construct a useless toll lane where there was already a functional HOV lane. I continue to try to understand who sets priorities for Caltrans and how funds are allocated. I've written to local Reps, but that has only elicited form letter replies.

The cynic in me thinks business interests in Silicon Valley pushed hard for the Southbound changes to get employees to work, but a similar push was not made for Northbound b/c they could give a rat's arse if their employees get home in a timely fashion.

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Posted by Lee
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 13, 2010 at 12:44 pm

I've thought about that too!! Wondered why there was a carpool lane one way and not the it all money? As this Tri-valley area keeps growing this new carpool lane would help the general traffic flow.How do we get one going the north direction?

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Posted by Curious
a resident of Del Prado
on Apr 13, 2010 at 2:17 pm

Well, there is room for another lane Northbound. Maybe we should do it like Kramer did in Seinfeld and go out and re-stripe the freeway on our own???

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Posted by Marie
a resident of Downtown
on Apr 14, 2010 at 9:07 am

Hi Curious & Lee,

Ok its nice to know others are thinking the same way. When I moved to Pleasanton from the Southbay last year my friends thought I was crazy to do the commute but I love living there. It doesn't really bother me but as I sit idle going home I think who's brite idea was this??? Not sure writing to the politicians will help but I think they do need to do something, they should of skipped the pay lane and added a car pool lane north. Does anyone know if we have a local legislative person in the Pleasanton area we can contact, I am not familiar with those contacts yet.

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Posted by Becky
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Apr 14, 2010 at 9:14 am

There is not much incentive to carpool when there is a carpool lane in one direction only. Just doesn't make sense. I commute three days a week to Sunnyvale. I go in at 6am to avoid morning commute traffic, but sometimes get stuck in the afternoon traffic, even if I leave Sunnyvale by 4pm. Thank goodness I get to work from home two days a week! I would hate to do this every day.

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Posted by Tess
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 14, 2010 at 9:22 am


You hit the nail on the head - its factual and there is nothing cynical about it. A number of large employers in Silicon Valley put some significant heat on the state legislature about the congestion on I680. There was only money available for a lane in one direction, and of course the employer's interests were that you be able to get to work on time, but much less concern about whether you were able to get back home on time. It was stated that and northbound lane would be built in a few years, but then the economy went in the tank, the state is essentially bankrupt, and the employers are still not that concerned about whether you get home on time.

Those concerned about this situation may want to refresh themselves on how Gov. Moonbeam (Jerry Brown) stopped freeway construction dead in its tracks, and gutted CalTrans, during his administration; and keep that in mind when they cast their ballot for Governor in November.

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Posted by Marie
a resident of Downtown
on Apr 14, 2010 at 9:42 am

I feel your pain I commute 5 days a week, and carpool 2 of those days. Most days going home are ok but Thursday and Friday are bad especially Friday sometimes it takes me 1 1/2 to 2 hrs to get home. And yeah carpooling does not help much going home. And Tess thanks for the mention of Jerry Brown, I think he is the one also trying to get Pleasanton to life the housing cap. Hmmmmmmmmmmmm. So build more houses there and have more people sitting on the freeway trying to get home, yeah that makes sense!! I was thinking though of writing to both the Brown camp and the Wittman camp to see if I could get anywhere.

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Posted by How spot Politicians lying?
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 14, 2010 at 11:36 am

Yes, Becky, do go ahead and write both Brown and Whittman.
But don't be surprised if they give a vague answer, or nothing, and then do nothing.

Did you see the super vague sound bites that Whittman has in her ads. Not one solid position on anything! Who does she think she's kidding?

And remember Garamaindi - he promised he'd support the retirees at LLNL, who are getting robbed of their medical by being switched from UC, where many worked for years, to a private co. who's only interest is cutting costs. Then once elected, he broke his word, and has done a lot of nothing on the issue.

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Posted by Debbie
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Apr 15, 2010 at 11:50 am

I have had the same questions as the others above; why a car poll lane in only one direction on 680? The traffic is horrible. I have been wondering if the current construction was part of adding a northern carpool lane, but from what was written above, I guess my thoughts were incorrect. We used to commute over Highway 17 to the San Jose area and it was a piece of cake compared to the commute to the San Jose area from Pleasanton and back. It can take my husband an hour or more going north on 680 to get home from his employment in Milpitas. I believe that is about 20 miles? While we love California, we lived in another state for a couple of years and their roads were great and without pot holes. Our state is obviously using our tax funds unwisely; voting ballots in so many other languages besides English (except for our second language of Greek) that costs all of us thousands of dollars. Giving Benefits to people coming her illegally (except for those of us who came here legally). Do you think that other countries would do this? Not Our lack of wisdom of where to use our tax funds is why we don't have the funds to pay for our state's needs like our roads. I agree, we really do need to look at who we are voting into office to represent us.

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Posted by Marie
a resident of Downtown
on Apr 15, 2010 at 1:48 pm

Debbie I totally agree with you! I can't continue how much I agree with you because they would probably pull my post :-) I did write to Meg Whitman, not that I will hear back but hey you never know. I would like to know if there is a local politician who can chime in and go to bat for everyone who drives that route. The state doesn't have a problem taking and spending out tax dollar but I don't think they really pay attention to the people when they have suggestions where to spend it.

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Posted by Steve
a resident of Foothill High School
on Apr 16, 2010 at 10:41 am

I guess they want us to get to work but not home from work. Also, why do they have to tear down the center divider just to rebuild it again. What did they do rebuild it 1" higher? It was just rebuilt a years ago when they widened the freeway. What a waste of money. Please do something with the northbound lanes from south Mission to hwy 84.

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Posted by Bob
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 16, 2010 at 11:24 am

It absolutely does not make sense to have two car pool lanes south bound and no car pool lane north bound. It is even alarming that the residents of East Bay have let this happen. I have tried calling CalTrans several times with asking the same question but no response. What can we do about this ????

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Posted by Marie
a resident of Downtown
on Apr 19, 2010 at 8:32 am

I would love to do something about this, but where do we start. That is why I am asking for a local representative to contact. I am surprised after all the thousands of people that commute that every single day that no one has pursued some sort of action trying to get someone to listen. I am open to send letters or whatever it takes, do we have a ocal congressman or someone we can contact?? Anyone know?

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Posted by Pleasanton Member
a resident of West of Foothill
on Sep 8, 2010 at 3:43 pm

We do have 2 congressmen for our area. Jerry McNerney is one of them. You can find the other one by looking up
Web Link

I plan to write to Jerry McNerney

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