When actually, a real, non-metaphorical bus could run over the whole thing. The key: remember that lots of cars doesn't mean lots of people. In fact, that's the problem. When I run an errand and hundreds of Peninsula drivers do the same...just as hundreds more are heading home from work...El Camino becomes a parking lot. Full of cars, not necessarily people. Which is why a 40-passenger bus can remove 40 cars from the road. And it's wise to begin thinking about Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) on the northern half of El Camino Real.
I need to restate the obvious about buses because this isn't so obvious to me. When was the last time I rode a Samtrans bus? Perhaps a year ago when a Caltrain fatality stranded me in San Carlos. Buses ply the El Camino quite effectively, albeit slowly, one discovers. By skipping stops, adding rush-hour lanes and leveraging special signals, speeds could pick up dramatically. That's the idea behind BRT.
We're at a strange crossroads on the Peninsula. We have the prosperity, property values and commuter traffic of a highly urban area. Yet we cling to a suburban past. The Peninsula has city traffic. We need city solutions. Let's encourage Samtrans (San Mateo County Transit) in this early stage of BRT planning. Meanwhile, let's be downright vocal with VTA, which is currently seeking public comment on a real BRT system from Menlo Park south.