The Interstate 80 metering lights are a stupid project. Why did the city of Fairfield allow Caltrans and the Solano Transportation Authority to proceed with the project without the analysis that justified the need and the effect on local traffic?
Caltrans assured Fairfield and the STA that the analysis would be completed before any construction work. Now that the study has been completed, we know that the eastbound metering lights will increase the traffic flow by 2 mph. The westbound lights are not needed until 2015. Amazing!
What I don’t understand is why the mayor and Fairfield City Council aren’t pushing Caltrans and the STA for the auxiliary lanes between the Travis Boulevard and Air Base Parkway interchanges. How nice would it be to travel between the interchanges without having to enter the I-80 traffic flow? If you want to speed up the traffic through Fairfield, this is the project that will do it. The time savings from congestion relief would be huge.
I wrote my first letter to the Daily Republic editor in 2008 concerning this project when the car pool lane project bid was 40 percent under Caltrans’ estimate. I recommended that the auxiliary lane project be added to the car pool lane project. Even a DR editorial supported my position. But it all fell on deaf ears.
I wrote another letter to the editor in January 2012, when the STA was in danger of losing the $24 million in car pool lane savings. If the auxiliary lane project had been added to the car pool lane project, the small cost increase would have been negligible due to the economy of scale. The auxiliary lane project was a top priority project in the I-80 corridor study report a few years ago, but the STA has chosen to ignore it.
These metering lights are about as stupid as terminating the eastbound car pool lane between two major interchanges’ on- and offramps with the resulting congestion. Have you seen the skid marks?