California Department of Transportation

California Department of Transportation

District 4 - Bay Area - Public Affairs Office
Lauren Wonder

July 5, 2005 


Oakland— The consequences of a strike on Bay Area traffic would be significant and far-reaching as 310,000 current BART riders could now put pressure on an already congested freeway system. The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and its transportation and business partners are prepared for the possibility of a BART strike this Wednesday.

Commuters are encouraged to plan ahead and carpool, use public transit and flex their hours where possible. Conveying more people in fewer vehicles will help reduce congestion.

Park & Ride lots are easily accessible to freeways and provide a good meeting spot for friends, neighbors and co-workers to form carpools. Public transit also stops at many Park & Ride lots. Furthermore, BART is keeping its parking lots open for carpoolers.

HOV hours on the freeways within the BART corridor in the East Bay will be temporarily extended in both directions (unless otherwise noted) to match the existing hours for Route 80 and the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge toll plaza. The hours are 5 a.m. – 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Per an agreement between Caltrans, the City of Oakland, the California Highway Patrol and AC transit, the West Grand Avenue on-ramp and the right hand lane on the Interstate 880 connector ramp to the Bay Bridge will be converted to HOV access only between 5 a.m. – 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. – 7 p.m. Vehicles with three or more passengers, buses, motorcycles and commercial trucks will be allowed during these times.

This will enable AC Transit to increase its Transbay service by lessening the trip time to San Francisco. This HOV conversion will be temporary for the duration of the strike.

Caltrans is deploying field personnel to:

  • monitor traffic conditions;
  • adjust metering lights at on-ramps and at the Bay Bridge;
  • clear incidents and accidents as quickly as possible; and
  • activate changeable message signs and highway advisory radios with useful traffic conditions, travel and carpool information.

Caltrans is also deferring maintenance and construction lane closures to off-peak hours, overnight or to a later date.

The partners are doing their part and encourage commuters to do the same.