Peninsula Drivers Incensed by Gridlock Accompanying Farm Hill Boulevard Road Diet

It's a popular thoroughfare on the Peninsula but recent safety upgrades have a lot of outraged drivers asking the city for a reversal.

Redwood City is reducing the number of lanes on parts of Farm Hill Boulevard between Alameda De Las Pulgas and Cañada College. City officials have put parts of the busy street on a road diet – going from two lanes in each direction to one lane and adding bike lanes and a middle turn lane.

But most city drivers want to put the brakes on the new road configuration.

Redwood City woman Jacqueline Fetherolf says the popular route to and from Highway 280 is now a traffic jam.

"It's a bad place to do it," she said. "We have a college up the hill, students trying to get to school and heavy traffic going to the freeway and school."

A commuter on Tuesday morning even filmed the slow crawl up Farm Hill Boulevard, saying what used to take two minutes now takes more than 10.

The changes are part of a year-long test, which is aimed at slowing down drivers and preventing accidents. City leaders say in 2014 there were 24 collisions on Farm Hill Boulevard of which 29 percent – or roughly seven – were speed-related.

But Redwood City resident Serena Roschin worries that frustrated drivers will opt for side streets where kids walk to and from school.

"How many times have you seen people say, ‘Forget it, I'll take a side road,’" she asked.

Time will tell if an effort to make one road safer will make others more dangerous.

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