Alameda needs carpool lane in the tunnels
KGO recently reported that mere rumors about tolls on Alameda’s bridges and tunnels sparked outrage among residents. This outrage is misguided and short sighted. Beyond mere tolls, we should be looking at other traffic-calming measures.
During the morning rush, the traffic should be re-routed so the Webster Tube has just one Alameda-bound lane, and the other should be reserved for buses, carpools and zero-emission vehicles. Similarly, in the evening rush, the Posey Tube should be converted to a single lane Oakland-bound.
Metropolitan areas all over the country regularly use these types of traffic-switching measures, which would require community education and adequate signage prior to implementation. Making the tubes a single lane in either direction would eliminate the problems seen on the Bay Bridge, where drivers dart in and out of the carpool lanes.
In addition, vehicles using those lanes should pay a nominal toll (perhaps just $1). Everyone else sitting bumper-to-bumper would pay slightly more. Tolls should be suspended on nights and weekends.
Editor’s note: Despite rumors on social media, no toll has been discussed or planned by the Alameda City Council. In fact, such an act would exceed their authority. All four bridges in and out of Alameda are owned by Alameda County. The Webster and Posey tubes are the property of CalTrans. Only those authorities, and a vote of the people, could impose a new tax on these crossings.