Saturday, April 19, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Caltrans to activate ramp metering lights on Feb. 18

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)

By
From page A1 | January 08, 2014 | 27 Comments

SUISUN CITY — Ramp metering lights on eastbound Interstate 80 in Fairfield are to debut on Feb. 18 for the evening rush hour.

It’s been a slow rollout. The state Department of Transportation installed most of the lights in Fairfield in 2011. At the time, it announced the cost as being about $4.9 million.

Dan McElhinney, deputy director of Caltrans District Four, will attend the Solano Transportation Authority Board of Directors meeting on Wednesday to give details and answer questions about the upcoming activation of the lights.

Mayors from Solano County’s seven cities and a county supervisor sit on the board. The meeting begins at 6 p.m. in the Suisun City Council chamber, 701 Civic Center Blvd.

“It’s part of the public awareness campaign,” Solano Transportation Authority Executive Director Daryl Halls said. “It’s an informational presentation.”

Ramp metering lights are designed to keep platoons of bunched-up vehicles from entering I-80. The lights act as traffic signals to space out the traffic, changing from red to green every few seconds. The goal is to make the freeway traffic flow more smoothly.

Ultimately, Caltrans and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission want to install and activate ramp metering lights throughout Solano County. The lights being activated in Fairfield on Feb. 18 is to be only a beginning.

Halls said the initial step is for lights to be activated on eastbound I-80 in Fairfield for the Thursday and Friday evening rush hours.

“They’re only going to be turned on when they’re needed,” Halls said. “That’s Thursday and Friday. The rest of the time, they will be green. You’ll just drive through as you do now. If they’re green, you go forward. It’s not a huge change.”

Caltrans could also use the ramp metering lights if a freeway accident takes place, he said.

“Let’s say a truck takes out a couple of lanes,” Halls said. “They can use ramp metering to slow down traffic getting on, so emergency vehicles can get there.”

The ramp metering lights are part of a larger effort by Caltrans to use technology to better manage the highway system, Halls said. He mentioned as another example the freeway traffic signs that give information on accidents.

A second proposed step is to activate ramp metering lights along both eastbound and westbound I-80 from Redwood Street in Vallejo to Interstate 505 in Vacaville, possibly in early 2015. A final step would be to activate ramp metering lights in the remainder of the county, when money is found to install the lights, according to a report done for the Solano Transportation Authority a few months ago.

Caltrans has already activated ramp metering lights in San Mateo, Santa Clara and Contra Costa counties in the Bay Area. The agency started experimenting with the lights in Southern California during the 1960s. The Los Angeles-Ventura area has 900 ramp metering lights.

Reach Barry Eberling at 427-6929 or beberling@dailyrepublic.net. 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.
LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 27 comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • The MisterJanuary 07, 2014 - 6:17 am

    Agenda 21.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • CD BrooksJanuary 07, 2014 - 6:57 am

    “They’re only going to be turned on when they’re needed.” If that were true, they never would have ben installed in the first place.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • SixStrRzrJanuary 07, 2014 - 7:09 am

    Let's just hope they do not activate metering lights at eastbound 12/Jameson Cyn Rd to EB 80. This would, in my opinion, effectively shut down HW 12 traffic, which is already at critical mass due to the on-(and on, and on) going widening construction.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Danny BuntinJanuary 07, 2014 - 6:04 pm

    They are literally moving mountains, but it does seem like the contractor is getting paid by the hour instead of a flat rate on the job.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • MarkJanuary 07, 2014 - 9:58 am

    wonder if a study was ever done to see what the vehicles that get backed up on the on-ramp (the only on-ramp that might have this problem is from Travis Blvd), will do to the surface streets? But really, the metering lights in Fairfield are a waste of taxpayers dollars. The city should just go take them down and tell the state tough we don't want your metering lights.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • TylerJanuary 08, 2014 - 6:06 am

    Travis Blvd, true, but also true of WB Air Base for drivers trying to get onto I80. They already back up both sides of Heath Drive at busy times and it's made worse by the unsynchronized signals before and on the overpass.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • SixStrRzrJanuary 08, 2014 - 7:10 am

    Actually, if you dig into the background stories on the metering lights, you'll see that the State is holding local funds hostage for any cities (VV,FF,Vallejo) who try to oppose the metering lights. The state doesn't care about surface street impacts - their only goal is to keep traffic moving on I-80.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Stan D. OwnJanuary 08, 2014 - 7:31 am

    Yes we should all protest and get CALTRANS to take out these metering lights.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • TylerJanuary 08, 2014 - 9:35 am

    I think I remember that it begins with the feds holding those stimulus dollars hostage unless a lot of silly but pc bells and whistles were included. I imagine someone has a relative in the metering light biz. But feds, state, really none of it matters - those dollars still come from your and my taxes.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Stu PedideahJanuary 07, 2014 - 11:27 am

    Anyone want to take bets as to how many fatal accidents per year will occur on the westbound Hwy 12 and Hwy 80 interchange, where there is a huge blind curve before the metering lights? Oh, and where vehicles will already be travelling at highway speeds?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Cal Q. LatorJanuary 07, 2014 - 3:00 pm

    Sounds Expensive.....How much will all this additional technology cost?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Blake LitesJanuary 07, 2014 - 6:27 pm

    Sure sounds like it will actually slow down entry to the freeway. We should all watch the car in front of us very carefully.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Eric IdleJanuary 07, 2014 - 6:50 pm

    Yes, sounds like it could cause the Holy Grail of all surface street congestions. I hate sitting in traffic back ups, doing nothing, would this not actually cause more air pollution, what with the engines never getting up to speed? Blody bunch of peasants, BTW....What is the Capital of Assyria?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Fess ParkerJanuary 08, 2014 - 11:34 am

    I have a confession....I am going to give up...too much government intervention here, and too much traffic....I am going to downsize and park my but in the woods from now on.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Daniel B. OondogleJanuary 09, 2014 - 8:55 am

    First let me say this in appreciation of our system of roads....I have never been lost, but I will admit to being confused for several weeks....In this situation I was constantly exposed to danger and death......But still, I was happy in the midst of dangers and inconveniences.........Ha ha,,,Just my Philosophy of Life I guess......

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Troy (John) HoraceJanuary 09, 2014 - 11:35 am

    Yeah, me too...First some Philosophy.....The pen is the tongue of the mind...........Anger is a short madness..........We need to watch this closely because.........What we learn only through the ears makes less impression upon our minds than what is presented to the trustworthy eye........... and Wisdom is not wisdom, when it is derived from books alone, ( for you Caltrans planners ).....Now for you Drivers (and you the voting public).......One wanders to the left, another to the right. Both are equally in error, but, are seduced by different delusions............OK.... So what I am wondering is (it is all Greek to me, from a Roman perspective ).... Is this some kind of trick to just sell more meters?........Is this just a subterfuge, something to do with a new UN Agenda 21 plan to tax us for the amount of driving we do?........Like the Metering Lights could be modified to remotely record your entry onto the.... "Free"way.... and then they would "charge" you for driving on it? Beware Caltrans bearing gifts??????.....Let me leave you with this thought..........Whatever advice you give, be short. [(Note....I am a hippo-crite) ( Note .... See this is funny cause, hippo is a combining form meaning “horse" in Latin) ]

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Horatio HornblowerJanuary 10, 2014 - 12:28 am

    HONK....If you don't like Metering Lights.....Seriously, if traffic is backing up and nobody is "weighting anchor", then someone must take "Command of the Ship" and blare our horns in protest, as we so annoyingly see during actual traffic backups.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • JimJanuary 07, 2014 - 9:36 pm

    New east bound 2 lanes on Hyw 12 going down to 1 lane of on ramp to east bound I-80. Traffic will back up on the new east bound lanes of Hyw 12. Opps!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • JimJanuary 07, 2014 - 9:41 pm

    When the new lights go red, the hyw 12 traffic will back-up even more going to east 80. Great mess Cal Trans!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Joy RyderJanuary 08, 2014 - 7:23 am

    Metering lights will kinda take the fun out of something as simple as getting on the freeway.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Bill D. AbareJanuary 08, 2014 - 8:17 am

    These transportation officials have their plans that sound so soft, fluffy ,cuddly and helpful, but implementation wise these plans cause the rest of us to bear the cost.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • innovationinstitutellcJanuary 08, 2014 - 10:56 am

    Complain all you want. The county mayors and STA are working hard to make a tough traffic issue better. Thanks.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Eve CarpediemJanuary 08, 2014 - 11:04 am

    Please post....Yes, I protest also. I don't mean to carp but we will be spending all night and day backed up on the surface streets just waiting to get on the freeway.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • LeaveMeAloneJanuary 08, 2014 - 1:31 pm

    Do you really believe that? If you do, I've got a bridge or two for sale, cheap. Laughable: "...working hard to make a tough traffic issue better..." Just plain silly talk.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Eve CarpediemJanuary 08, 2014 - 10:59 am

    Yes, I protest also. We will be spending all night and day backed up on the surface streets just waiting to get on the freeway.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • HORNBLOWER 3 The Duchess And The DevilJanuary 10, 2014 - 6:55 am

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pFSyZkzKgFU

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Ford Exec: ‘We Know Everyone Who Breaks The Law’ Thanks To Our GPS In Your CarJanuary 10, 2014 - 8:22 am

    JIM EDWARDS Business Insider January 9, 2014..........Big Brother really is watching everything we do.....Ford’s Global VP/Marketing and Sales, Jim Farley, said something both sinister and obvious during a panel discussion about data privacy today at CES, the big electronics trade show in Las Vegas................................... Because of the GPS units installed in Ford vehicles, Ford knows when its drivers are speeding, and where they are while they’re doing it................................ Farley was trying to describe how much data Ford has on its customers, and illustrate the fact that the company uses very little of it in order to avoid raising privacy concerns: “We know everyone who breaks the law, we know when you’re doing it. We have GPS in your car, so we know what you’re doing. By the way, we don’t supply that data to anyone,” he told attendees.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

Solano unemployment inches downward

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1, 2 Comments

 
Transplant recipients talk about their best gifts

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
 
Fairfield council candidates weigh in on crime

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3, 3 Comments | Gallery

Police release name of woman found dead in Fairfield canal

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Spering, Bertani spar over fighting crime

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3, 32 Comments | Gallery

 
Five homes featured on Symphony Home Tour

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4

 
Congregation invites public to Easter music, message

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4

 
Local woman helps spread Easter joy

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B12 | Gallery

 
Weather for April 19, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: B13

 
.

US / World

California farmers to get more water

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Teen sentenced in Oakland toddler’s killing

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

More Latino than white students admitted to UC

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 3 Comments

 
Health care site flagged in Heartbleed review

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

From Clinton to Obama, many parallels

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
Study: Half of jailed NYC youths have brain injury

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

PG&E to be arraigned in fatal pipeline blast

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
Mom and son who died in San Francisco fire ID’d

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

3 alleged gang members convicted of murder

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Colorado deaths stoke worries about pot edibles

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8, 1 Comment

NASA’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down as planned

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

 
Atheist national conference aims at Mormon church

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8, 5 Comments

Easter on 4/20, pot holy day; pastors reach out

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8, 2 Comments

 
Some countries get Obama, but want his wife, too

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9, 1 Comment

Man who avoided prison is overwhelmed by support

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Teen suspended for asking Miss America to prom

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9, 1 Comment

White House updating online privacy policy

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
SpaceX making Easter delivery of station supplies

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Sudden movement raises alarm in Wyoming slide area

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
In Egypt, a corruption watchdog hit by backlash

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

Military scales down, modifies Guam buildup plan

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

 
Captain of sunken SKorean ferry arrested

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

Avalanche sweeps down Everest, killing at least 12

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

 
Diplomacy doesn’t move insurgents in Ukraine

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

Magnitude-7.2 earthquake shakes Mexican capital

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
57-nation OSCE plays key Ukraine monitoring role

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

Ukraine crisis: The turning points

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
.

Opinion

Here we go again in Sacramento

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 9 Comments

 
Cheers, jeers for the week of April 13-19, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: A11

 
Editorial Cartoons for April 19, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

 
.

Living

Today in History for April 19, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: April 19, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Seniors, it’s never too late to do something about your health

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B7

 
Horoscopes for April 19, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B7

.

Entertainment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

 
Prince reaches agreement with music label

By The Associated Press | From Page: B14

‘The Boondocks’ back for final ‘offensive’ season

By The Associated Press | From Page: B14

 
A nutty finale for ‘Scandal,’ TV’s craziest show

By The Associated Press | From Page: B14

Stratocaster still a favorite at 60

By The Associated Press | From Page: B14

 
.

Sports

Ross, Padres beat Cain and Giants 2-1

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
A’s come out swinging to beat Astros 11-3

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Warriors to start O’Neal for Bogut vs. Clippers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Hertl has impressive playoff debut for Sharks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Warriors and Clippers take dislike to playoffs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Big innings lift Mustangs over Indians

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1 | Gallery

’40-and-up club’: Ageless Hopkins after more belts

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Jimenez shoots 65 to lead Greater Gwinnett field

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Solano scores in ninth for 2-1 BVC baseball win over Yuba

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

 
Choi leads rain-delayed RBC Heritage

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

NBA’s Silver wants age limit change, no rush on others

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
NBA playoffs looking more wide-open than expected

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Source: Grizzlies’ G Calathes suspended for 20 games

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Avalanche sweeps down Everest, killing at least 12

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Mets trade 1B Ike Davis to Pirates

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
TNT’s Sager to miss NBA playoffs due to leukemia

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Nadal ousted by Ferrer in Monte Carlo quarters

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
A’s lefty reliever Doolittle gets 5-year deal

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2, 1 Comment | Gallery

.

Business

Judge says American can’t end retiree benefits yet

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
Mazda recalls 109,000 older SUVs for rust problem

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

5 features an Amazon phone might offer

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
.

Home Seller 04/19/14

Summerwood features 8 new homes in Suisun

By Daily Republic | From Page: HSR2

Real estate transactions for April 19, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: HSR3

Average US 30-year mortgage rate falls to 4.27 percent

By The Associated Press | From Page: HSR3