One of my favorite Bee columns, Back-Seat Driver, reports today on CalTrans’ new plan to shut down lanes and onramps on I-5 in downtown.
Beginning in February or March and lasting through October, Caltrans will close one or two freeway lanes in each direction from Richards Boulevard on the north to the I-5 junction with Highway 50 on the south.
That will leave three lanes open in each direction, Dinger said.
Key ramps, such as the commuter-heavy I and A street connections also will be closed at points during the year
Apparently there are drainage problems there and it leaks, and therefore flood danger in the long run. But holy smokes, that does not sound like a fun 2008 for commuters or people flying on airplanes. Bizjak says this is the busiest strectch of I-5 north of Los Angeles. (Yay Sacramento!) I’m sure RT and the city have some ideas to alleviate the problem though…
“Hopefully, more folks will take light rail, buses, carpools,” city traffic official Hector Barron said.
Let’s ignore the offensiveness of suggesting that we take light rail to the airport. Dutiful readers and Raggers have already pointed out the problem with that. (Although I want to add that I think it’s silly that the 20th anniversary logo also has a picture of a streetcar. Ah, the 80s… porkpie hats, men in suits, Lucky Strikes, streetcars…)
I commute every day to Natomas and I’m here to tell you it’s not well served by RT. I suppose Elk Grove residents could go crosstown to the newer Meadowview line and bypass I-5 instead of coming in on the freeway. Or take some of the RT-affiliated busses that come in from the Grove.
But I don’t know how people who live in North Natomas would be begin attempting to bus in to the city core. That is a sizable load of cars. I think RT would have to expand its offerings to make a dent in the number of people actually opting for public transportation along I-5, and with the legislature’s recent record of treating public transit like a rainy day fund I think that’s probably not going to happen.
What say you, I-5 commuters?