San Francisco Freeway Corridor Management Study (SF FCMS)

US 101 at Hospital Curve. Photo courtesy Sergio Ruiz

WHY A SAN FRANCISCO FREEWAY CORRIDOR MANAGEMENT STUDY?

The 2013 San Francisco Transportation Plan forecasts a continued increase in demand for travel by San Francisco residents, visitors, and workers to and from the Downtown, eastern neighborhoods, and Peninsula/South Bay. Through 2040, this new demand could be enough to fill one bus per minute of people moving on or in parallel to the US 101 and I-280 freeways during the peak period. While some of these new trips will indeed be taken on transit, many will still choose to drive or carpool. The challenge is to support the tripmaking needs of these people across all modes while advancing our livability, economic, and environmental health goals, and to do so equitably.

Phase 1 of the FCMS proposes goals and objectives and identifies the range of strategies to be considered. Phase 2 will evaluate and recommend alternative strategies and an implementation plan.

WHAT STRATEGIES WILL THE SF FCMS FOCUS ON?

 LANE MANAGEMENT transparent spacer image  OPERATIONS TECHNOLOGIES
• Ramp metering
• Weave/merge guidance
• High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) Lanes
• Express Lanes
  • Adaptive signal control
• Real-time and advance information
• Dynamic speed advisories

The SF FCMS will evaluate the feasibility and benefits of these strategies in combination with travel demand management (TDM) measures, such as telecommuting or guaranteed rides home, and expansion of transit or ridesharing capacity.

WHAT IS THE SF FCMS?

The San Francisco Freeway Corridor Management Study (SF FCMS) is a performance-based assessment of strategies for improving the performance of, and managing the growth in demand for travel on, US-101 and I-280 in San Francisco. The SF FCMS focuses on recommendations for implementation in the next five to ten years.

Many other jurisdictions in the San Francisco Bay Area have implemented or are considering implementing strategies for managing travel and congestion on area freeways. The SF FCMS analysis is an opportunity for San Francisco to participate in the regionwide conversation on freeway management, inform and be informed by parallel efforts of other agencies (see map on reverse), and define the strategies that are right for San Francisco.

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WHAT ARE THE GOALS OF THE SF FCMS?

  • Move more people to support economic competitiveness by improving freeway corridor productivity, utilization, and efficiency; increasing vehicle occupancy levels; and reducing recurrent delay
  • Increase trip reliability by reducing non-recurrent delay and improving travel time predictability
  • Enhance travel choices by increasing the competitiveness of transit and providing better information about alternatives to driving alone
  • Enable coordination and integration across jurisdictions during the planning, operation, and public outreach phases of improvements
  • Reduce emissions per traveler by reducing per capita vehicle tripmaking and emissions resulting from vehicle trips
  • Achieve and maintain equity, safety, and local neighborhood balance by mitigating the impact of increased through-trips on local streets, ensuring equitable access to transportation, and avoiding disparities in the distribution of benefits and impacts.

WHO DOES WHAT?

Other Freeway Management Projects Along US 101 and I-280Caltrans owns and is the primary operator of the Bay Area’s freeway network. In addition, the County Transportation Commissions in Santa Clara, Alameda, Contra Costa, San Mateo, and Solano counties lead the development and/or operation of freeway corridor management projects, including Advanced Traffic Management Systems (ATMS); HOV lanes; and Express Lanes. These arrangements are based on administrative agreements with cities and Caltrans (for ATMS and HOV lanes) or state legislative authority (for Express Lanes).

The Bay Area Infrastructure Financing Authority (BAIFA)—whose Board is comprised of MTC, BATA, Alameda, Contra Costa, and Solano Counties—is leading development and implementation of the 270-mile network of Express Lanes authorized by the California Transportation Commission in 2011.

SCHEDULE

Study schedule

FCMS PHASE 1 FINAL REPORT

Download the report.

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TERMS USED IN THE FCMS

Adaptive Signal Control: A traffic control system in which traffic signal timing changes based on actual traffic demand, with the goal of improving the flow of traffic and reducing congestion on local roadways.

Advanced Traffic Management System (ATMS): A system using real-time traffic flow data and incident monitoring to make adjustments to a variety of potential traffic management features, including on-roadway variable message signs, ramp meters, traffic signal timing, and highway advisory radio.

Dynamic Speed Advisory: A speed displayed on Variable Message Signs that is below the speed limit that is posted for a section of highway. Reducing speed on sections of freeway leading to a congested section may reduce the severity and length of the congestion by slowing down vehicles to a slower, but steadier, flow.

High-Occupancy Vehicle (HOV): A passenger vehicle carrying more than a specified minimum number of passengers, such as an automobile carrying two or more people. HOVs include carpools and vanpools as well as buses. By California law, motorcycles and eligible clean-air vehicles may also use HOV lanes.

 

High-Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) Lane: An exclusive traffic lane or facility limited to carrying HOVs and certain other qualified vehicles.

HOT Lane/Express Lane: Express lanes are specially-designated highway lanes that offer toll-free travel for carpools, vanpools, motorcycles, buses and eligible clean-air vehicles. Solo drivers also have the choice to pay to use the lanes.

Ramp Metering: Ramp metering employs traffic signals along onramps to freeway facilities to regulate the amount and spacing of vehicles entering the freeway according to traffic conditions. By adding space between vehicles entering the freeway, congestion at merge points is reduced, however, backups may result on local streets.

Variable Message Signs: Electronic signage along a roadway that employs ITS or ATMS technology to change messages in real time, in response to traffic conditions or incidents, providing drivers with timely and useful information such as travel times and potential detours.

Note: Portions of this glossary are based on FHWA’s
A Guide for HOT Lane Development.

FACT SHEET

Download the current FCMS Fact Sheet.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

For more information, contact Andrew Heidel, Principal Transportation Planner, at 415.522.4803 or by email.

The SF FCMS is funded by Caltrans and the Prop K half-cent sales tax for transportation.

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Photo courtesy Sergio Ruiz/flickr