More Carpool Lanes Proposed For Highway 50

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(Sacramento, CA)
Monday, June 20, 2005

Under the plan, Highway 50’s carpool lanes, which currently stretch from El Dorado Hills to Sunrise Boulevard, would be extended another 12 miles to downtown.

Caltran’s District 3 Deputy Director Wayne Lewis says it could help move twice as many commuters during peak hours. "There’s such heavy volume on Highway 50 in both directions actually, it’s not even a directional commute anymore, that that’s one way that we can add capacity. HOV lanes are very effective. On Highway 99 right now we’re moving twice as many people at the peak hour."

And Sacramento Area Council of Governments planning director Ken Huff says the project is a significant element in their metropolitan transportation plan. "There are three major employment centers in the region: South Placer, Rancho Cordova-Folsom and Downtown Sacramento and this is really key because this carpool lane would connect two out of those three major employment centers."

But opponents of the $100 million project say extending carpool lanes will only encourage suburban sprawl and just end up creating more gridlock in downtown Sacramento. Caltrans is holding public workshops on the issue Tuesday at the Library Galleria in Downtown Sacramento and Thursday night at Mills Station in Rancho Cordova.