Dear Street Smarts,
Q: Has a study ever been done on the advantages of having ‘on-ramp metering traffic lights’ installed on some of the ramps coming onto to Highway 1? These are so beneficial to many congested cities throughout California; however, our county seems to be the only one in California with no common sense about how this could solve one of the biggest problems with commute congestion. Sooooo frustrating that those coming onto Highway 1 altogether forces everyone to brake to allow them in. Metering each car one-by-one would help at all the major on-ramps: Morrissey, Soquel, Bay/Porter, Park, State Park, etc.
Melanie Martin, via email
A: Yes, the idea of installing metering lights along Highway 1 has been studied, according to Caltrans.
“A Ramp Metering and Auxiliary Lanes alternative was studied as part of the environmental review of high occupancy vehicle-Lanes for the corridor,” said Susana Cruz, spokesperson for the state transportation agency. “The draft environmental document will be publicly circulated for review in early 2014. Unfortunately, funding is not available for either of those alternatives. Consideration will be given to an auxiliary lane between Soquel and 41st Avenue.
“Ramp metering is a bit more complicated than just putting up a on-ramp meter light at the end of the ramp,” Cruz explained. “Most of the ramps would need to be widened to accommodate waiting vehicles, and avoid backups onto local streets; and, in general, most interchanges would need major modifications to meet current design standards.”
Q: Are they going to repave Graham Hill Road after all the PG&E ‘destruction’ of the road? We have put up with months of lanes closures, steel plates and now uneven road surface. To say it’s a mess is a gross understatement! Can’t wait till the rains create our own version of sink holes, swallowing cars in one gulp. Any hope for this situation?
Sue Gawlick, Santa Cruz
A: “PG&E recently replaced portions of the gas main and service connections on Graham Hill Road,” said Joel Lacagnin, senior civil engineer for county public works. “The work included repaving portions of roadway as directed by the county.”
This June, the company will slurry seal the entire width of Graham Hill Road throughout the project limits followed by new pavement striping, he said. That will take a couple days.
“The slurry seal will extend the life of the new pavement and will give the road a uniform surface,” said Lacagnin. “We appreciate the patience of those who use Graham Hill Road while PG&E finishes this important gas service project.”