On-ramp plans halted
Publication Date: Wednesday Apr 10, 1996

TRAFFIC: On-ramp plans halted

CalTrans drops San Antonio project, but ramp metering will proceed

The state Department of Transportation has dropped plans to build a new southbound on-ramp from San Antonio Road to the Bayshore Freeway.

But CalTrans still plans to install ramp meters on the Embarcadero Road and Oregon Expressway on-ramps to Highway 101 to help regulate freeway traffic.

San Antonio does not have a southbound on-ramp to 101. The closest entrance is the Charleston Road on-ramp near Costco in Mountain View, which would be closed if the San Antonio on-ramp were built.

The on-ramp, as well as some related improvements to the San Antonio and Charleston intersection, has been discussed since the late 1970s or early 1980s, but it has been shelved a couple of times, said Palo Alto City Traffic Engineer Ashok Aggarwal.

CalTrans officials are scheduled to come to the City Council meeting Monday, April 15, to address questions and concerns about the ramp metering and the canceled on-ramp project.

City approval is not necessary for CalTrans to install the ramp-meter lights, which regulate the flow of traffic entering the highway. But some residents fear that the lights will backup traffic onto city streets.

"CalTrans says the rate at which they intend to operate the lights should cause no backups," said Marvin Overway, Palo Alto's chief transportation official. There is sufficient storage distance on city ramps, according to CalTrans.

Ramp metering, which is used in many locations in the South Bay, is also planned for the University Avenue on-ramp, Overway said. But since it is in San Mateo County it will be part of a separate project at a later date.

--Peter Gauvin 

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