Q I could tell Caltrans what's wrong with the interchange at Highway 92 and Highway 101 for a lot less than the $450,000 they are spending to study what changes are needed.
A OK, tell me.
Q It's the exact same problem that plagued the north end of 85 and 101 for years. Too many entrances and exits too close together to allow people to merge at anything close to freeway speed.
Northbound, you have the Hillsdale Avenue entrance just a few hundred yards before the 92 exit. Southbound, you have the entrances from Fashion Island Boulevard, westbound 92 and eastbound 92 all merging separately onto south 101, followed by a very close exit and entrance at Hillsdale.
A The 92-101 study will be released this year, but what solutions do you propose?
Q Build a flyover for traffic on westbound Hillsdale that will allow them to first merge with the westbound to north 101 traffic north of 92, giving northbound 101 traffic a clear shot at the 92 ramps. Closing the Kehoe Avenue exit wouldn't be a bad idea either.
Southbound, create a merge lane that will allow Fashion Island Boulevard, westbound 92 and eastbound 92 traffic to all merge before entering 101 south, and maybe make that merge lane fly over Hillsdale, or have a separate exit ramp from the merge lane to Hillsdale.
Make sense? Worth half a million? Want to bet a tank of gas (Prius to Prius) that the eventual $450,000 solution will be very close to what I just described?
A I'm no longer a betting man, but many of your ideas have merit, says John-the-MTC-Man:
"Mr. Tarsa is clearly very astute, and did a good job of identifying some of the key issues plaguing the interchange as well as some pretty good solutions. However, rather than raising too many issues, he may not have raised enough.
"For example, what about the problems on 92 west of 101, with those closely spaced interchanges at Delaware and El Camino Real? Shouldn't those be addressed as well? And is it just a merging problem on 101, or might more capacity be needed? Are there other measures other than building more lanes or ramps that would make sense? Is there really enough space to do what he suggests?
"The point of studying the 92/101 interchange is not to simply tell Caltrans what's wrong, but rather to develop a better understanding of exactly how Highway 92 and U.S. 101 interact, and, based on that information, develop recommended ramp and street improvements to ease both existing and future mobility problems on both freeways in the vicinity of the interchange. All of these issues are interrelated, so one of the main goals of the study is to see not only what series of improvements is needed, but also to determine whether certain improvements depend on one another."
Q Any update on the Highway 92/El Camino Real interchange revamp in San Mateo?
A Environmental review and project approval are expected to be completed by the end of the year, with several options being evaluated. One would be to convert the full cloverleaf to a partial cloverleaf, removing the two loop offramps to eliminate the short weave sections.
Offramp traffic would be moved to diagonal offramps which would end at new signalized intersections on El Camino.
Q There has been work at night at many ramps on 101 in San Mateo County, especially near I-380. What are they doing?
A Ramp meters are being installed throughout the county along 101. Work could end in March.