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Bernal Freeway OnRamp

Original post made by Diane, Downtown, on Dec 1, 2011

Why are there always people who think they are special and don't need to wait in line like everyone else? The traffic on Bernal approaching the northbound onramp to 680 seems to have increased with the opening of the Safeway shopping center. Day after day, I see people who don't want to wait in the right lane like everyone else because it gets backed up and and one of two things happen. They either speed through in the left lane only to butt in when they get close to the onramp. Or,including today, many are turning onto the onramp from the left lane and cutting off the person who is legitimately turning from the right lane. It is not a two lane onramp! Nothing would make me happier than to see a policeman or two ticketing this behavior. It's dangerous and rude and I'm sick of dealing with these rude people, including the one who butted in in front of me today with little to no room.

Comments (18)

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Posted by Bill
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 1, 2011 at 12:48 pm

The side exit from Safeway should be a right turn only during peak commute times.

I take Bernal to southbound 680 and really feel for the commuters that have to take the northbound on ramp. It definitely has gotten worst since the signal lights to the Safeway side entrance/exit were activated. Cars are even starting to block the Bernal/Valley intersection.

One reason people may cut in line is there is nowhere for the traffic to go except the left lanes when making a left turn from Valley onto Bernal. Eventually they have to merge into the far right lane.

Pleasanton traffic engineering blew it on this one.

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Posted by POed in PTown
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 2, 2011 at 8:43 am

Bernal from Valley to I-680 (the section that runs along the new shopping center) is now a nightmare. They should never have put an entrance into that shopping center from Bernal. This is now going to be such a disaster that it will only be a matter of time until they have to put in the interchange at I-680 and Las Positas.

By the way, the current Pleasanton traffic engineer must be a meatball. Intersections are being created where they should not be, traffic lights are not timed, and through lanes that become left-turn-only lanes without warning are popping up all over Pleasanton. Did this meatball come from LA? People need to show up in mass at City Council meetings to demand the traffic engineer be fired for gross incompetence.

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Posted by Pleasanton resident
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Dec 2, 2011 at 9:01 am

Has anyone notified the traffic division of the Pleasanton Police Dept? they should be monitoring this, but maybe they're not aware?

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Posted by traffic engineer
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 2, 2011 at 11:58 am

The traffic engineer is Mike Tassano. Before you notify him, keep in mind that he had the brilliant idea to speed traffic along First Street to make it a more viable cut-through route for traffic. After all, why should all of those cut-throughs -- who contribute nothing but traffic to Pleasanton -- be inconvenienced by actually having to stop at a light. Let them cruise right on through and encourage all of their friends to use Pleasanton streets to avoid the freeway.
He also timed the light at Bernal eastbound, going left onto First, so that no matter what time of day or night you get there, you will wait an interminable abount of time to get the left arrow. No matter that there is NO traffic heading west on Bernal.
He only created a left turn signal from Neal onto First after four people were hit in that crosswalk while they had the walk signal. Why might that happen? Because the cut-throughs always have the green light and those turning onto First had a few seconds at best to make that turn. So they flew around the corner and did not see the people in the crosswalk.
This is the guy who creates these traffic nightmares in Pleasanton. Wasting time trying to resolve anything is pretty much a waste of time.

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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 2, 2011 at 12:14 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Because having traffic sit and pollute on First St. longer is so much more brilliant.

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Posted by Bill
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 2, 2011 at 1:39 pm

The Gates neighborhood got together several years ago and made request to the traffic department to install a signal light at the intersection of Sutter Gate Ave and Santa Rita Blvd. The request was made because of the increase in traffic on Santa Rita has made this left turn dangerous.

The answer was No, because there was not enough distance between Santa Rita/Sutter Gate and Santa Rita/Stonerigde intersections.

The distance between Sutter Gate and Stoneridge is 1000ft.

The distance between the 4 traffic signals between Valley and the bridge over Arroyo de la Laguna averages 570 ft (Valley to Safeway 640ft, Safeway to NB680 on-ramp 640ft, NB660 to SB680 520ft, SB680 to Lagoon Rd 490 ft).

Lesson - if your a peon resident you are told to take a long walk on a short pier. If you are Safeway it's red carpet and what else can we do for you.

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Posted by Susan
a resident of Country Fair
on Dec 2, 2011 at 1:44 pm

People cut in everyday and cross the solid line. I never see the police monitoring it. It's a big mess.

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Posted by Mike Tassano
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 2, 2011 at 2:19 pm

The City has submitted design plans to Caltrans to add a second northbound on ramp lane to the Bernal @ I-680 interchange. This modification will allow two lanes to turn right at the intersection and alleviate some of the "racing to the front of the line" that occurs in the westbound direction. The plan also includes a second left turn lane from westbound Bernal onto the I-680 Southbound on ramp to improve the operation at this signal. We are hoping to be through the Caltrans review process by spring and construct the needed improvments in the summer of 2012.

I would be happy to address any additional questions or concerns you may have. While I check these forums regularly, the best way for you to reach me is by email me at or call me directly at (925) 931-5670.

Mike Tassano
Deputy Director of Community Development, Transportation
City of Pleasanton

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Posted by Pleasanton Resident
a resident of Country Fair
on Dec 2, 2011 at 3:25 pm

I've never thought the street light timing in Pleasanton was a problem. The traffic patterns are fairly complicated for such a small town, and whoever is in charge of keeping things moving has been doing a good job. Pointing out one light or intersection as a major problem and then blaming the person in charge seems unfair. If these are the biggest concerns a resident has in Pleasanton, then we are pretty darn lucky people living here.

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Posted by Bill
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 2, 2011 at 4:42 pm

Improving freeway and adjacent city streets through ramp metering, signal coordination, incident management and transit vehicle signal priority is on the to do list of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission. But this was slated only for Santa Clara and San Mateo counties. Hopefully MTC will rank this Alameda county project with high enough priority so Cal Trans can complete the needed work.

The ranking for this type of project is 16. Anything over 7 has a good chance of being funded.

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Posted by Bill
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 2, 2011 at 4:57 pm

Pleasanton Resident - If that one problem intersection happens to be a major feeder route to a heavily communted freeway, then yes we have a right to complain. Especially if there was no problem before the traffic departement decided to add "improvements" or before CalTrans decided to turn on the ramp metering lights without taking into consdideration what this might do to the local surface streets.

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Posted by Ron
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Dec 2, 2011 at 4:58 pm

Thanks Mike. Makes sense- any changes that affect traffic flow to/from a freeway on/off-ramp to my understanding requires Cal-Trans approval. Adding that second right turn lane should hopefully address this issue. I think the 'racing' issue became a problem once the farthest right Westbound Bernal lane became a right turn only lane to Valley a few years back. Traffic seems to back up farther, people get inpatient, they crowd the left lane also at the light, then try and race and jam in the freeway lane at the last minute. In the meantime, I guess the question is who can monitor and cite drivers and has jurisdiction for this stretch of roadway, PPD or CHP?

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Posted by Terri
a resident of Livermore
on Dec 2, 2011 at 7:24 pm

I find that the same thing happen at the Sunol/I-680 SB on ramp. People cut in at the last minute and don't care if they have less than an inch of space between you and them and/or they go up to the left turn entrance that is meant for people coming from the opposite direction to turn and cut in there. Really ticks me off. I agree that the occasional police officer just sitting there even is a huge deterrent. Even an empty police car causes people to make another choice.

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Posted by Resident driver
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 3, 2011 at 8:16 pm

Reminder of your driver's TEST question.... to all drivers that wide solid solid lines are an invisible WALL, NOT to be crashed into or crossed over. Right turners have their lane, and the moving next lane has their line....they do not have the right to each have your separate lanes. Just like the left turner approaching you,,,they turn left into their left lane, and you turning right move forward in your right lane....moving side by side. The WIDE line (invisible wall) separates you. otherwise you fail the driver's test.

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Posted by Cuba
a resident of Old Towne
on Dec 4, 2011 at 10:01 am

What I see more often than not is drivers who do not keep up with traffic ahead of them and close the gap in the RH lane after the red lights. Then not enough cars get through the red lights, and are stuck needlessly for another cycle or 2. They should wake up and keep up. Filling those big gaps from the adjacent lane is not cutting in. It does not affect the traffic behind. This is different from squeezing a car into a space that is not big enough without affecting traffic behind it.
Regarding the other issues stated, yes, the traffic management department in Pleasanton does a terrible job.
Yes, I hope they get double turn lanes at Bernal and 680.

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Posted by Luis Castillo
a resident of Civic Square
on Dec 4, 2011 at 8:10 pm

I believe they should make it a two car on ramp to the freeway.
Have the right lane merge and now make the left lane the primary lane to get onto the freeway. That way both lanes can be used to prevent blocking up the light.

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Posted by Lisa
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 4, 2011 at 8:10 pm

time to move..this place is looking more and more like Dublin everyday.

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Posted by Truth
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 5, 2011 at 6:59 pm

It's not against the law to turn over a solid white line.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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