Bus-only lane idea on Bay Bridge presented

The Bay Area Toll Authority oversight committee on Wednesday will hear an idea that promises to ease congestion on the Bay Bridge: Adding a bus-only lane.

The Metropolitian Transportation Commission staff will present the initial design and traffic assessment of a bus lane on the Bay Bridge, which they say will move more people in fewer cars, saving time on traveling and accommodating the growing need for long distance commuters.

The MTC’s analysis found there’s more congestion during the morning peak at the westbound approaches to the bridge than on the actual bridge and during the evening peak, there is more congestion in the East Bay corridors than on the bridge.

The highest priority would be to fix those hotspots most affecting bus movement at the West Grand Avenue Interstate 580 and Interstate Highway 80 approaches.

There is growing support for the idea: Both AC Transit’s and BART’s boards of directors have approved resolutions to support a bus-only lane.

State Assemblyman Rob Bonta also expressed interest in a legislative solution.

But some drivers who don’t commute by bus may take issue with bringing down the lanes of traffic from five to four.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports other solutions to ease traffic congestion could be to extend the bus and carpool lane on I-580 back through East Oakland or doubling the length of a bus and carpool lane on West Grand Avenue among other ideas.

Aerial view of the Bay Bridge