ramps lights 9_26_13

The onramp to eastbound Interstate 80 at Beck Avenue. The eastbound ramp metering lights are set to open in early 2014. (Robinson Kuntz/Daily Republic)

Solano County

Caltrans gives ramp metering light presentation

By From page A1 | January 09, 2014

FAIRFIELD — State transportation leaders came Wednesday to the Solano Transportation Authority meeting to give details on the upcoming activation of ramp metering lights along local Interstate 80 onramps.

The lights are scheduled to turn on along only eastbound I-80 ramps through Fairfield from Red Top Road to North Texas Street on Feb. 18. The exception is the ramp leading from Interstate 680 to I-80, with lights there set be activated in a later phase.

These eastbound I-80 ramp lights are to be green only for the first week, to alert the public. They are to begin normal operations on Feb. 24.

Eastbound I-80 lights through Fairfield are to operate from 3 to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, but would be green unless traffic conditions are heavy. They will operate from 2 to 7 p.m. on a typical Friday and 2 to 8 p.m. on a Friday before a holiday weekend.

“We’ve come a long way in ramp metering in the Bay Area,” Dan McElhinney, deputy director of the state Department of Transportation District Four, told the  Solano Transportation Authority Board of Directors.

The Bay Area has 381 ramp meter light locations and by the end of 2015 this should grow to 700, he said.

Caltrans installed the ramp metering lights on Fairfield I-80 onramps in 2009, but delayed turning them on pending discussion with local officials. It plans to someday have lights on I-80 ramps throughout Solano County. Ramp meter lights along both eastbound and westbound I-80 from Redwood Road in Vallejo to Interstate 505 in Vacaville are to be activated in 2015.

The goal is to space out vehicles getting onto the freeway to improve freeway traffic flow. Ramp metering lights have long been in place along some Southern California freeways and have been activated in the Bay Area in recent years in Contra Costa, San Mateo and  Santa Clara  counties.

But local officials have expressed caution about the lights, wanting to make certain the lights don’t have such unwanted effects as backing up freeway ramp traffic onto local streets. Caltrans seems to have addressed most of the concerns, with no criticisms coming up at Wednesday’s meeting.

“We appreciate your support and any further suggestions you might have as we move forward,” McElhinney said.

Reach Barry Eberling at 427-6929 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/beberlingdr.

Barry Eberling

Barry Eberling

Barry Eberling has been a reporter with the Daily Republic since 1987. He covers Solano County government, transportation, growth and the environment. He received his bachelors of art degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara and his masters degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley.

Discussion | 3 comments

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  • The MisterJanuary 09, 2014 - 7:04 am

    Agenda 21.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • CD BrooksJanuary 09, 2014 - 8:47 am

    When these become a problem and they will, CT will quietly turn them off. I'm hoping nobody gets seriously injured in the interim. This is very bad law and I have seen no evidence it is effective in creating traffic flow. I drive a lot so somebody should direct me to wherever it is they're getting the data. Allow all traffic to travel at the same speeds, then teach them how to maintain that speed. Teach them the proper methods to merge and this issue goes away.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • TylerJanuary 09, 2014 - 2:30 pm

    OK, I'll direct you to an ivory tower at Sac State. Good luck finding it!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
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