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Express Lane or Turtle Lane

Original post made by Bill, Amberwood/Wood Meadows, on Oct 6, 2010

My question from an earlier posting was answered....whether the speed limit on the Express Lane route was 55mph or 65mph. Over the weekend new 55mph signs were posted to make it clear that this route is 55mph. This begs the question, why? There are no construction crews on the sides of freeway. Why limit the speed to 55mph? So...before construction of the toll lane, the speed limit was 65mph and no back-ups. After 200 million dollars, the speed limit is lowered to 55mph and 10 mile back-ups were created.

Caltrans said give it a couple of days for the 84 merge back-ups to disappear. Then they said the traffic at the merge would be okay in a couple of weeks. Now they are saying it will take a couple of months for the back-ups to be gone. Then they added that the back-ups have eased to where they were before the toll lane entrance was added....maybe...on Fridays... but before the toll lane construction started there were "no" back-ups at all.

Comments (3)

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Posted by waiting patiently
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 6, 2010 at 5:14 pm

Wait a couple of years. or wait a few decades. then the road will be finally back to normal.

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Posted by Daily Commuter
a resident of another community
on Oct 7, 2010 at 10:15 am

I do not think everyone has a clear understanding of the concept and purpose of the Express Lane. It is not about improving traffic flow, in two weeks, or two months, or two years. It is about increasing the State's revenue collection. Express Lanes are the second step (Diamond Lanes were the first step) in transitioning California from freeways to toll highways (called coincidentally "Expressways" in many other states). Of course those states chose to charge user fees for drivers on their highways via tolls, while California chose gasoline taxes to cover the costs of highway maintenance. It looks like Californians are going to end up with both the gas taxes and tolls.

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Posted by Steve
a resident of Stoneridge
on Oct 7, 2010 at 10:55 am

My thoughts about the "express lane":

- Why would a pay lane ever reduce traffic? Any traffic reduction in normal lanes would cause a reduction in the use of the pay lane. Why would I pay if traffic has been reduced in the non-pay lanes?

- Now it isn't even free during most non-commute hours (carpool lanes were!)

- Once you get in, you can't get out for miles (unless you break the law - like the CHP I saw this morning!)

- It's located on the lightest part of the daily commute. Why wasn't it put on Northbound 680?

- Why don't they convert the 237 carpool lane into an "express lane" (because it will make 237 worse!).

- On some parts of the express lane, the buffer is almost equivalent to another lane. Could they have increased the highway with 2 more lanes at the same cost? (That probably would have reduced traffic - if that was the goal).

If the goal is to reduce traffic:

- make it free for everyone.

- put up physical, concrete barriers on either side of the lane, with some room for break downs.

- make the lane southbound in the morning and northbound at night.

- provide 1 entrance for every two freeway entrances, with a very long merge.

- provide exits only at the Sunol entrance, Mission Blvd. and Calaveras/237. (I would like to see it extended to be closer to the hwy 84 entrance).

- set the speed limit at 70 with a minimum of 55.

- ticket people going below the limit (they should be in normal lanes, not express lanes.)

I've driven on express lanes into Chicago, and they work, but they need to be real express lanes, not toll lanes. In Chicago, once you get in, you better want to go into the city, because there aren't any exits until then. (and everyone drives 70+ in it)

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