Saratoga, Cupertino Plan Lawsuit to Prevent Highway 85 Toll Lane

A pair of South Bay cities plan to sue Caltrans over a plan to add a toll lane on Highway 85.

The proposed toll lane on Highway 85 would run from Highway 87 in San Jose and up north to Highway 280 in Cupertino.

The cities of Saratoga and Cupertino argue the toll lane would add to the congestion on the already-busy freeway.

About 100,000 vehicles travel daily on Highway 85 between San Jose and Cupertino. Adding a toll lane to the mix is unacceptable to Saratoga Mayor Howard Miller.

"We gave direction to staff to file suit," Miller said. "We have 30 days to do so. We are preparing it now and it is fully our intention to file."

The City of Cupertino is also suing to stop the proposed toll lane.

Miller said a toll lane would add more noise to the area. Residents who live along the freeway corridor said the sound walls do little to buffer the noise from Highway 85.

The idea of a toll lane does not sit well with some South Bay residents.

"I disapprove of a toll lane because California, I call it a tax state -- they have taxes for everything," Campbell-resident Stan Lorente said.

Caltrans said a study shows a toll lane would have no significant impact on the environment, including noise.

However, Miller said if Caltrans wants the toll lane it needs to make other improvement to the highway first. An improvement would include replacing the grooved concrete paving to asphalt paving to help reduce noise along the freeway corridor, Miller said.

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