SACRAMENTO, CA - Some call it the worst bottleneck in the region. Now, a new plan to ease traffic along the Capital City Freeway in east Sacramento has neighbors at odds over whether things will get better or worse.
If Caltrans planners get their way, the onramp at E Street will be gone in three years. The goal is to clear up congestion along that section of eastbound Business 80. Some who live and work near the onramp said they wouldn't be sad to see it go.
"They got a lot of traffic," Sacramento business owner Mel Marshall said. "People come at 5 o'clock; there's a lot of traffic coming along here."
"I think it's great for the commuters," said Jack Stephen, who lives near the ramp. "It's a bottleneck every day from three to six. I mean traffic's barely moving. Everybody's coming through, and it's just a bottleneck every day. I watch it from my porch just going, 'Maybe I should call Channel 10 and tell them I'll do a traffic report from my porch.' It's there."
"Right up to this point, you drop from five lanes to three lanes, and that's rather quick for a lot of folks to try to navigate. That's where the bottleneck happens," Caltrans' Dennis Keaton said about the area near the onramp.
It's not just the number of lanes. Keaton pointed out that after traffic merges from Highway 50, P Street and J Street, they need to stop the inflow.
"While it's dropping to three lanes, if you leave E Street open, you still have oncoming traffic that are going to be merging onto an already bottlenecked area," Keaton said.
However, not everyone likes the idea.
"I don't think it's going to improve it," Malia Gleason said. "I think it's going to get worse."
Gleason lives near the J Street onramp and worries the traffic surrounding E Street will simply move closer to her.
"Usually afternoons when people get off of work, the mid-lunch time, you got more traffic 'cause people are going to get lunch," Gleason explained. "So yeah, to me, I don't think it's going to solve a problem."
Caltrans officials stressed the proposal is still in the early stages. They haven't even secured funding. In the months ahead, they hope to work with the Sacramento City Council and members of the community to address any concerns.