I-80 Metered On-Ramps Set to Go Active

Don Gosney


The long awaited metering lights on the local I-80 freeway on ramps are set to go into full operation on Monday July 26.

The purpose of these lights is to control the flow of cars coming on to the freeway in the hope that this will free the freeway from the bottlenecks often seen around the onramps.

The project was first brought to this community nearly five years ago.  Public presentations were made and computer simulated videos were shown how the metering lights would alleviate a problem that has plagued the freeways for years.

There were concerns voiced at the time—and these were even backed up by the computer simulations—that while the metering lights might help to control the flow of the traffic once the vehicles got onto the freeway, it might cause backups on Richmond’s main arteries (Barrett near San Pablo Avenue, San Pablo Avenue near Barrett, Solano Avenue, Central Avenue, Carlson Avenue and the Richmond Parkway).

The CalTrans representative at the time opined that if this problem were to occur, it was not their concern—all they were concerned with was what happens on the freeway.

Some of the simulations shown to convince the public of the metered ramps:




There will, of course, be a period where this community will need to get used to this new idea.  While the metered ramps have been used elsewhere for decades, they’re new to this area.

Another concern voiced about using these metered ramps is that the freeway onramps in this area are shorter than ramps constructed in recent years.  This might back cars up onto the city streets.

Radio Free Richmond would like to hear from the public about how these metered ramps are working out.  Please feel free to post your comments.  To help understand the impact, please make sure you tell us which ramp is being referred to and what time of day.


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