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Confused by the new lane signage on U.S. Highway 101? Here's what you need to know

Original post made on Feb 14, 2022

Drivers along U.S. Highway 101 are facing a dizzying array of signs and lane markings between state Route 237 in Mountain View and Whipple Avenue in Redwood City with Friday's debut of express toll lanes.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Saturday, February 12, 2022, 10:21 PM

Comments (8)

Posted by tt
a resident of another community
on Feb 14, 2022 at 1:06 pm

tt is a registered user.

By any measure, 101 normally is ugly, crowded, and slow. This new system is just one more reason to avoid 101 on the peninsula—likely an unintended, inadvertent consequence of its implementation.

Posted by Frozen
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Feb 14, 2022 at 1:19 pm

Frozen is a registered user.

Expect lots of unhappiness on the peninsula, since most people don't have FasTrak, and even if you do (my family has a tag) the FasTrak system may or may not spot the transponder.

Signage says a 3+ carpool is free? Read the fine print. You have to have the FasTrak Flex with the switch set correctly.

And the special provisions for all-electric cars? First, you need to get the proper certification from the DMV (who should, but don't, issue these certificates automatically when you register your electric car) and then apply for the FasTrak CAV. (Aren't we trying to encourage electric vehicles? You wouldn't think so!)

We just got a bill from FasTrak for a violation -- transponder and 3+ people in the car; none of us noticed that we were in the wrong lane on 237 (mid-day, no traffic). A 70-cent fee plus a $25 penalty. Since the bills don't arrive until weeks after the infraction, I expect many will receive rather large penalties. Fees are likely to be the largest for drivers who can least afford them.

We'll see if this fixes any traffic issues -- or just makes everything worse. Right now, it's a mess.

Posted by menlo mom
a resident of another community
on Feb 14, 2022 at 3:18 pm

menlo mom is a registered user.

Anyone else see this as a regressive tax? Those who can afford the extra on a regular basis can get to work more quickly, while the other half is stuck in traffic (and quite often travels further to get from home to work).

Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Feb 14, 2022 at 7:11 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.


a regressive tax is exactly what it is. Along with double taxation. Our taxes built these roads and now they're charging us to use what we paid to build. That's California in a nutshell.

Posted by Joseph E. Davis
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Feb 15, 2022 at 7:09 am

Joseph E. Davis is a registered user.

This is a very good idea. It's actually shocking that California didn't cancel it due to some nonsense about equity.

Posted by MenloVoter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Feb 15, 2022 at 7:12 am

MenloVoter. is a registered user.

Mr Davis:

please explain why you think this is a good idea. You think it is good to pay to drive on roads we've already paid for?

Posted by tt
a resident of another community
on Feb 15, 2022 at 9:31 am

tt is a registered user.

Toll roads and bridges are nothing new, so we will continue to pay in one way or another. There’s a certain logic to charging those who actually use the roads everybody already has paid for—the likely alternative would be increased taxes for EVERYONE, which seems a bit unfair.
What is nuts about this plan is the highly confusing manner in which the fees are being calculated. Also, it is not great for safety to have confusing signage on a freeway where one’s attention really should be on the road. IMHO

Posted by tt
a resident of another community
on Feb 15, 2022 at 9:50 am

tt is a registered user.

This is the first line of the article:
“Express lanes are the latest way that transportation agencies are trying to manage traffic congestion.”
This new system supposedly is being implemented to “manage traffic congestion,” not to raise revenues. Isn’t there another, more equitable way?

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