Caltrans Considers Widening Hwy. 101 to Ease Congestion

Caltrans is proposing a wider 101, with express toll lanes, and a new bridge over the bay to ease traffic congestion. (Dec. 6, 2017) NBC Bay Area

Caltrans on Wednesday held a meeting in Redwood City about a proposal to install express lanes on Highway 101 along the Peninsula.

The proposed express lanes would stretch from Interstate 380 near San Francisco International Airport to Whipple Avenue in Redwood City, and then already existing carpool lanes from Redwood City to the Palo Alto area would be converted to express lanes.

The new lanes would be express toll lanes, they said, so solo drivers would have the option to pay to use them. Just like current carpool lanes, solo drivers would be able to access them during off-peak hours, Caltrans spokesman Jeff Weiss said.

Buses and cars with three or more people would be able to use them for free.

Wednesday night's presentation on the express lane proposal was the last chance for residents on the Peninsula to share their comments.

"I never drive on 101 because it’s so congested," student Haley Bugler said. "I try to avoid it at all costs. This will probably help the congestion a lot."

"If you want to try and limit traffic and congestion, you start charging to drive on the expressway, and I think only until then, people will try and figure out another way, a bus, a train," San Carlos resident Rita Fusaro said.

Editors note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported that Caltrans was pitching an idea of a new bridge.