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101 SB all ramps very dangerous

Original post made by Driver, Palo Verde, on Jun 20, 2013

These on ramps at Oregon/Embarcadero, Charleston, Rengstorff and Middlefield are all horrendous and major accident waiting to happen. I have used them all and none of them are safer choices.

I am looking forward, eagerly, to the construction to be finished but I rarely see signs that they are working to finish these short merges asap. In the meantime, I find myself using Central Expressway, Foothill Expressway and 280 much more than I used to just so that I don't have to negotiate these dangerous onramps.

In an attempt of easing my frustrations by sharing our near misses, I am starting this thread as a stress releaser. Feel free to join me in my rants.

Comments (7)

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Posted by Driver
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jun 20, 2013 at 8:35 am

Charleston is the worst, as so many vehicles are about to exit at Rengstorff.


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Posted by neighbor
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 20, 2013 at 9:25 am

Exiting off 101 at Embarcadero/Oregon - while traveling northbound on 101 - isn't any picnic either. It's so narrow. Exiting there traveling southbound is fine, of course.


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Posted by Palo Alto Native
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jun 20, 2013 at 12:35 pm

Haha, I completely agree. It's supposed to be completed by "summer" and tomorrow is technically the first day of summer. When I have seen them working on it, they seem to get a lot done. Perhaps if they were paid several million more, it would have been completed by now - isn't that typical? I live near the ramps and have only seen one accident yet, which is surprising, given the danger.

It think 101S off Oregon is much more dangerous than Charleston because there is a bit of an entrance ramp on Charleston. Oregon's entrance has a wall and next thing, you're expected to be up to speed with no entrance ramp.

My son just got his license and we can't let him enter 101S off Oregon because even we, as experienced drivers, have trouble with the merge.


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Posted by just a boondoggle
a resident of College Terrace
on Jun 20, 2013 at 12:55 pm

This whole Hwy 101 construction project and been a disastrous boondoggle. It brought us years of congestion and noise and traffic danger and what is the end result going to be - a bigger funnel to pour more traffic into our neighborhoods. If you thought the construction was bad, traffic conditions are just going to get worse when it is done.


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Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 20, 2013 at 3:39 pm

From what I see most of the people who complain about the off-ramp and on-ramps are the most incompetent of drivers. People do not merge they just putt-putt onto the freeway and sit there waiting for no traffic, which there rarely is. The thing is to get up to speed while moving slowly and deliberately out and fitting into the moving traffic. Some cannot seem to do this.

I agree none of these ramps during construction are particularly nice or safe, and there have been quite a few accidents entering southbound 101 from that Embarcadero/Oregon merge - but the worst part is the unfairness and chaos of that on-ramp since it allows merging cars to run up along the right side of the road ahead of cars already on 101 or entering from Embarcadero. Really obnoxious drivers from Embarcadero can even swerve over to the right and pass all the way up.

I think the solution to join the streams from Embarcadero and Oregon and then to sense how many cars are on that strip and let them out accordingly disallowing passing on the right.

The thing I have always thought was dangerous was the 101 North to Westbound Embarcadero blind merge ... and the 101 North to Eastbound Embarcadero merge when one has to get over to the left to make a turn to East Palo Alto. Both of these messes have been that was as long as I can recall ... back to the 70's.


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Posted by Mom
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Jul 1, 2013 at 9:52 pm



I currently have two teenagers learning to drive and I hate these 'temporary' on-ramps which are incredibly short. Does anyone know who we can call/email? City of Palo Alto, City of Mountain View???


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Posted by Sure
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 1, 2013 at 9:59 pm

Caltrans is who is doing the work and who has control. I doubt calling them will have an impact, but they are the ones to complain to.


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