Here’s a reader’s comment about Highway 37 traffic with an idea on why it’s become so bad:
Your article on the unusual traffic backups on Hwy 37 struck a real cord with me, particularly the comment from a reader who said they only really started happening some four or five months ago. It’s strange Caltrans couldn’t come up with any better reason for the traffic than to say it was peak tourism season and there were two missing “left lane must turn left” signs at Hwy 121. Do they not see the correlation between the much heavier than normal traffic flows on 37 and the start of their program to announce travel times to Petaluma and Cotati from Novato on the electronic sign board located just north of the Alameda Del Prado exit from northbound Hwy 101? The backups on Hwy 37 started almost immediately after Caltrans started displaying those times.
If the time to Cotati exceeds 35 minutes (and it often does), as displayed on that sign board, Hwy 37 becomes a parking lot, often as early as the Black Point exit, as commuters frustrated with Hwy 101 try to use Hwy 37 to get to Hwy 116 or Hwy 121, using them as alternate routes into Sonoma County. It used to be a guessing game to decide which route into Sonoma County was fastest, and most drivers guessed Hwy 101. Now, Caltrans takes all the guess work out of it and people who would have otherwise stayed on 101 know with certainty to get off 101 and try 37 instead. It’s the classic cause and effect.
I’m surprised Caltrans could not see this for themselves.
To read the earlier column, CLICK HERE.
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