Council to review traffic study of tricky interchange

Residents and city officials want to know how improvements to a hazardous San Mateo intersection — dubbed by some as “Russian Roulette Avenue” — will affect residents in Burlingame.

Burlingame has been working with San Mateo to determine the scope of work for a traffic study into the Peninsula Interchange project, a controversial effort that dovetails Caltrans’ U.S. Highway 101 auxiliary lanes project in the area.

The Burlingame City Council is expected to approve this scope of work, which now includes a look into possible improvements at Poplar Avenue and Amphlett Boulevard, at its Monday meeting. Burlingame city staff also asked that the study examine how 15 key intersections in the city may be affected by the project, Assistant Public Works Director Syed Murtuza said.

Burlingame is expected to contribute $25,000 to the study.

The interchange project aims to improve or completely eliminate the difficulty of navigating the Poplar Avenue and Amphlett Boulevard intersection in San Mateo. One way to improve safety, according to a 2004 report by Hexagon Transportation Consultants, is to close one or both freeway ramps at Poplar and replace it with a southbound ramp at Peninsula Avenue — near the border between the two cities.

But Peninsula Avenue residents in San Mateo were up in arms when they learned that eminent domain might be used to seize their properties located within the proposed project area.

The intersection sees drivers exiting from southbound Highway 101; another set of cars heading toward the southbound Highway 101 on-ramp; and a third set on Amphlett trying to dash across both sets of traffic.Burlingame Mayor Cathy Baylock urged the San Mateo City Council in February not to go forward with eminent domain near Peninsula Avenue, suggesting instead to have councils from both cities discuss improvements to the Poplar/Amphlett intersection instead.

Residents echoed the sentiment at a Burlingame City Council meeting two weeks ago, when they poured into council chambers and asked both cities to do just that. The council asked that the study include further analysis into that option as well.

“We as a staff want to make sure that we have full understanding of each option’s impactto our communities,” Murtuza said. “Once we know the full extent of each option’s impact, we can make a decision in their best interests.”

Murtuza expects the Burlingame portion of the study to start immediately if approved Monday.

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Dave Hodges, pastor at Zide Door, the Church of Entheogenic Plants that include marijuana and psilocybin mushrooms, holds some psychedelic mushrooms inside the Oakland church on Friday, July 22, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Psychedelic spirituality: Inside a growing Bay Area religious movement

‘They are guiding us into something ineffable’

A former inmate and a sheriff’s deputy are among the first four members chosen to serve on the newly created Sheriff’s Department Oversight Board. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Years after fight club scandal, Sheriff’s oversight board takes shape

‘We want to promote law enforcement best practices’

More than a thousand people gathered in front of the California Capitol building to protest Gov. Gavin Newsom’s stay at home order and demand that the state re-open on May 1, 2020. (Photo by Anne Wernikoff for CalMatters)
Newsom blames ‘right-wing pundits’ for COVID surge

By Emily Hoeven CalMatters Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday placed the blame… Continue reading

Strong California revenues will allow the state to commit to offering no-cost food to every student. (Amanda Mills/Pixnio)
How California plans to offer free daily meals to 6 million public school students

By Ali Tadayon EdSource With one in every six children facing hunger… Continue reading

Most Read