New metering lights for the morning commute went into effect Wednesday on Highway 85 from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. in the northbound direction. That’s two hours longer than any other metering lights in the Bay Area. The hope is it will help traffic flow between I-280 and Highway 101.
Cars getting on Northbound 85 from Cupertino to Mountain View will be making the stop before they merge on to the highway.
According to Caltrans, more and more drivers are using Highway 85. The increasing freeway traffic is the result of the booming South Bay economy. That’s why Caltrans took action. At a cost of more than $12 million, they’re activating 15 new on-ramp metering lights along the 6 miles stretch from Cupertino to Mountain View.
“85 is my first run in the morning and it can be quite interesting,” said commuter Brad Hancock.
In the beginning, this was one of the South Bay’s best kept secrets, providing an alternative to route 101 and bypassing downtown San Jose. But then somebody told two friends, and then they told two friends, until the secret wasn’t much of a secret anymore.
Crews kept a close eye on traffic flow and the new system to make sure everything worked the way it should. Most drivers are taking the changes in stride.
“I find that if I leave early enough, then commuter lights aren’t too much of an issue anything that helps ease traffic, I support,” said Hancock.
But like anything new, the new metering lights and road configuration can be a bit confusing for some drivers.