The San Mateo County Transportation Authority (TA) and the City/County Association of Governments of San Mateo County (C/CAG) joined major employers on the Peninsula to celebrate yesterday's recommendation that the California Transportation Commission (CTC) award a total of $253.2 million in State funding to support congestion relief on Highway 101 in San Mateo County. The TA and C/CAG have been working closely with the Bay Area Council, San Mateo County Economic Development Association (SAMCEDA), and the Silicon Valley Leadership Group (SVLG) for years on solutions to unprecedented traffic congestion on Highway 101 and the award of State funding recommended today is a vital part of the investment needed to fully fund this critical project.
This funding is made available through the solutions for Congested Corridors Program, and the Local Partnerships Competitive Program. Both programs were established by Senate Bill 1 (SB 1), the landmark statewide transportation funding legislation signed into law last year.
As Assembly Speaker Pro Tem, Kevin Mullin (D-South San Francisco) was instrumental in passing SB 1 and helped ensure that new state funding included in the legislation would be eligible to fund Highway 101 improvements. Mullin also chaired a working group of private and public sector organizations interested in reducing congestion on Hwy 101, and as a result of that effort, private sector employers interested in reducing regional traffic congestion committed $50 million toward the Highway 101 project.
”This is a major accomplishment for the region, and the product of a truly unique collaboration between public agencies and the private sector," said State Assemblymember Kevin Mullin. "I've made the Congested Corridor funding a top priority effort and couldn't be more thrilled for San Mateo County to receive this level of funding from our SB 1 investment - it really highlights the statewide significance of this corridor.”
The project is a collaborative effort between the TA, Caltrans and C/CAG. The project would address congestion on Highway 101 by creating an express lane in each direction between Whipple Avenue in Redwood City and Interstate 380 in San Bruno. The express lanes would connect to the HOV lanes that already exist south of Whipple and extend into Santa Clara County.
The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority is working concurrently to convert these HOV lanes to express lanes. Together, the projects would create a new system of continuing express lanes that will incentivize the use of public transit, carpools, and other shared ride options, while also creating a new revenue stream for additional transportation enhancements from individuals willing to pay a fee to drive in the new lanes.
“Congestion on Highway 101 is regularly cited as the greatest challenge to residents of San Mateo County,” said TA Board Chair Don Horsley. “Incentivizing mass transit with express lanes is a greener alternative that takes cars off the road and helps people get home to their families faster.”
“Employees from some of the most productive and innovative companies in the world depend on Highway 101 for their daily commute, which is why the private sector has stepped up to help advance this important project through advocacy and their own financial commitment” said Rosanne Foust, President and CEO of SAMCEDA. “This grant gives us a great opportunity to reduce congestion for Peninsula residents that are working every day to help drive the local, statewide and national economies.”
“The fact that CTC staff is recommending such a large state funding grant is terrific news, as it brings us one step closer to relieving traffic in Silicon Valley,” said Silicon Valley Leadership Group Senior Director of Transportation Policy Chris O’Connor. “Now it is up to voters in the nine county Bay Area to maintain this momentum and make this project a reality by funding the next piece of this project through the passage of Regional Measure 3 in June.”
“Approximately a quarter million cars are on Highway 101 through San Mateo County every day,” said Bay Area Council President and CEO Jim Wunderman. “Reducing congestion and incentivizing opportunities to use transit or carpool is vital to reducing our carbon footprint and preserving a thriving regional economy.”
The Managed Lanes Project is expected to enter the design phase upon completion of environmental review this summer. The managed lanes are expected to open to vehicles in summer of 2021.
About the TA: Created to administer Measure A, San Mateo County’s ½ cent sales tax, the Transportation Authority provides funding for transportation and infrastructure improvement projects. In 2004, more than 75 percent of San Mateo County residents voted to reauthorize Measure A for an additional 25 years.