In choosing not to use eminent domain on private property to build a southbound Highway 101 onramp at the Peninsula Avenue interchange, the city is back to square one with the problem of congestion at the Poplar Avenue onramp.
Traffic problems plague the Poplar onramp because drivers unable to enter southbound Highway 101 from Peninsula Avenue commonly drive south to Poplar Avenue to access the highway.
In a study session Monday night, the City Council will likely tell the San Mateo County Transportation Authority that they will not pursue installing southbound ramps along Peninsula Avenue.
"This is not an ideal situation by any means," SMCTA Director Joe Hurley said.
Building the ramps would have required the city to acquire private property from homeowners through eminent domain, and the financial and political costs of that kind of maneuver was deemed too high by both San Mateo and Burlingame.
Without the southbound entrances, drivers must travel south — typically on Amphlett Boulevard — to Poplar Avenue’s onramps.
The Amphlett Boulevard and Poplar Avenueintersection has become hazardous because of the limited visibility and speeds of cars exiting the freeway.
The city is considering building medians along Poplar Avenue to limit the movement of cars and cut down on the potential for accidents. But neighbors worry that traffic will increase on North Humboldt and North Idaho streets. Both run parallel to Amphlett and feed onto Poplar Avenue.
"Regardless of which option [eminent domain or medians] is selected, there are impacts to folks and the property they own," Public Works Director Larry Patterson said.