SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY, Calif. (KTXL) — Commuters traveling on Interstate 205, the main connector between Interstate 5 and 580, are no strangers to sitting in traffic on the way to the Bay Area or on the way to Sacramento.
A new plan aims to cut those commute times down.
“It is our most congested area of the county,” said Ryan Niblock. “As early as you know, 5, 6 in the morning, if you were trying to leave San Joaquin County and had to go to Alameda County, you’d find that you were in a traffic jam.”
Niblock works with the San Joaquin Council of Governments as its deputy director of programming and project delivery. He said they are working with Caltrans on a plan to improve the corridor.
“The idea would be to add to what we have out there now. So, add a lane that would allow for high occupancy vehicles and express buses to come through and then in addition to that, a dedicated right-of-way down the center for transit only so that we could have some rapid regional transit moving from our area into the Bay,” Niblock said.
Different types of managed lanes under consideration include carpool lanes or other special lanes for buses, trucks or electric vehicles. Charging a toll fee for single-occupant vehicles is also under consideration.
“We will look at as many alternatives as we can and to fine-tune it into a project that has the most possible support from the region,” Niblock said.
The San Joaquin Council of Governments is made up of representatives from the county and all the cities within it. They work together to oversee transpiration and other common interests in the region.
Niblock said the main goals of the I-205 managed lanes project is to provide more public transportation options and shorten the commute time for thousands of drivers.
“We want to reduce the amount of time that, that portion of the roadway is congested and allow people to get to work more safely and give them more options,” Niblock said.
SJ Council of Governments said they are collecting feedback from the public and any other agencies that could be affected by the project. Meanwhile, they said they already have support from some Bay Area agencies.