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Expanded carpool lane opens in Alamo Wednesday night

Original post made on Nov 10, 2011

The expanded lane will be nearly one mile long and run between Rudgear Road in Walnut Creek to Livorna Road in Alamo. The $1.9 million carpool lane was designed to "encourage carpooling in the corridor by allowing carpoolers to bypass congested mixed flow lanes," according to a release.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, November 9, 2011, 5:08 PM

Comments (11)

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Posted by jake
a resident of Alamo
on Nov 10, 2011 at 8:17 am

Hopefully this will help the congestion. The noise level 0n 680 has been reduced noticeably since the installation of the new pavement except over the bridges where no pavement has been added and the original concrete surface remains. This combined with some uneven bridge surfaces create major noise, especially with the passing over of big trucks. Unfortunately there are no sound-walls or other barriers over bridges and the noise travels through the adjacent neighborhoods. The main rational for not paving is given as the added weight on the bridge. Anyone with any engineering education may find this difficult to believe, absent any calculated analysis. Do you thing that the fact that bridges are under the jurisdiction of a different organization than roads may have something to do with it?

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Posted by Informed resident
a resident of another community
on Nov 11, 2011 at 10:24 am

This should relieve some of the congestion in that area and is long overdue. It will be interesting to see how it works out as traffic continues to increase.

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Posted by Ralph N. Shirlet
a resident of another community
on Nov 11, 2011 at 10:55 am

Dear Editor,

This morning some Alamo neighbors and I were discussion traffic in Alamo when Vince, in humor, asked, "Isn't the new carpool lane still Danville Blvd in Alamo?"

That could be a serious follow-on story for the Express, but the humor serves to identify reality for Alamo residents and alumni. In our continuing review, we recognized the 2003 neighborhoods plan to remove Danville Blvd in the Alamo business district as still the solution for commuters that use Alamo as their commute lanes. More, making Danville Blvd and Stone Valley Road toll roads with local usage permits is still an immediate solution to commuter traffic.

As we laughed, we simply realized that carpools are not our problem in Alamo as volumes of cars with single occupancy crowd our roads with commuters.

In humor, did Caltrans solve a lesser problem and the joke still remains on Alamo?

Just kidding on the "square,


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Posted by Informed resident
a resident of another community
on Nov 11, 2011 at 11:41 am

Someday you will realize that Danville Blvd. is and always will be a public road. Just sayin' maybe it is time to get over it.

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Posted by jo
a resident of Danville
on Nov 11, 2011 at 4:44 pm

Has every seen when they put up the new carpool signs that it says 5am not 6am??? really there isn't that many people going to carpool at that time of morning.. but it put alot of traffic in other lanes and making drivers cut in and out of traffic.

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Posted by Ralph N. Shirlet
a resident of Alamo
on Nov 11, 2011 at 6:51 pm

Dear Editor,

At 6PM tonight we could declare any traffic mitigation on 680 north and south a failure. With massive traffic stalled on Danville Blvd we should consider charging for parking rather than any toll.

So, Danville Blvd remains the 680 commuter lanes for the multitudes selfish enough to lock us in our neighborhoods. If we are to get over it as has been suggested, we would all need a powerful pogo stick.


of Ralph, hardly expressed

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Posted by Dickita P
a resident of Alamo
on Nov 12, 2011 at 8:34 pm

Maybe I'm a bit of a dum dum, but could someone explain the humor in Vince's comment?

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Posted by Dickita P
a resident of Alamo
on Nov 12, 2011 at 8:36 pm

Oh I think I get it now... Vince is a crabby old twat, and Ralph isn't funny. It's anti-humor. Very post-modern of you guys! You got me!

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Posted by askidoo
a resident of Alamo
on Nov 13, 2011 at 1:14 pm

Note the reasoning for making the $1.9 million lane was to encourage car pools not relieve congestion. This is the thinking of most of those who serve and work on the various transportation authorities whether local or regional.
Another solution which Alamo fought in 2008/09 was metering lights because the goal again was driven by a social/green viewpoint to keep the congestion off the freeway and thus make it hard to get onto drivers would then use local roads as their mainstay. Voila - no freeway congestion!

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Posted by Mike
a resident of Alamo
on Nov 13, 2011 at 5:19 pm

The theory in transportation agencies is that encouraging carpools with HOV (high occupancy vehicle) lanes increase the capacity of the freeway in people per hour, not necessarily vehicles per hour. Whether this actually works or not is not my concern in this case. My concern is that, where an HOV lane replaces one of the other lanes with no increase in the number of lanes (as is the case here), there is always a congestion effect where the HOV lane begins due to merging. This extension of the HOV lane has moved this congestion further north and added it to what is already a prodigious bottleneck due to merging and dropping off of lanes from South Main down to Livorna.

The first two days of the extended HOV lane coincide exactly with southbound rush hour traffic on Danville Boulevard going from heavy but moving traffic to backed up, stopped traffic on both days. These conditions are normally only seen when there is an actual blockage on I-680. It will be interesting to see what the Danville Boulevard is like tomorrow on Monday. It appears that Caltrans has actually reduced, rather than increased, the capacity of I-680 by this change.

In a couple of years, Caltrans plans to extend the southbound HOV lane from where it now stops north of the I-680/24 interchange to where it starts south of the interchange and also add a southbound lane between Rudgear and Livorna by widening the freeway one lane on the west side from Rudgear to Livorna. They should have waited until if and when this is done. Until then all that has been done is to unfairly push even more regional freeway traffic onto the local streets that are already overburdened by regional traffic.

And by the way, it’s strange that Caltrans says the HOV lane extension cost $1.9 million. There is the same amount of pavement and the same number of lanes and stripes as before. The only differences are a few signs and painted diamonds. Maybe it’s an accounting rule.

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Posted by Jake
a resident of Alamo
on Nov 14, 2011 at 9:46 am

Being cynical, my theory is that adding HOV lanes have nothing to do with traffic management rather a long range plan to generate revenue by eventually charging $ for use of these lanes! My rational is that the people at the CalTrans and Transportation agencies are not dumb; they know this is not going to help traffic nor the street congestion. Therefore, it gives rise to the diabolic plan to raise money!!

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