Sunday, August 28
Split at Pacheco Pass: Santa Clara vs. San Benito
Mercury News readers frequently complain to Mr. Roadshow about the difficulty of passing along eastbound Route 152 at its intersection with Route 156. The column has recommended, either at the suggestion of readers or Mr. Roadshow himself, alternatives to the 152-to-Pacheco-Pass route including 25-to-156-to-Pacheco-Pass, 101-to-46, and 101 all the way to Los Angeles. In any case, the alternative will involve detouring through the roads of San Benito County (SBt), a place threatened by Bay Area overflow growth à la Tracy.
Now, VTA recommends that SBt accept Bay Area cut-through traffic with its design for the expanded 152-156 crossroad. Under the agency's proposed arrangement, westbound traffic will be given the option of either keeping left and going straight for a "through" route (156) to Hollister or taking an "exit" ramp toward the traditional route to Gilroy and the Bay Area (152).
Is this not backwards? Surely the majority of Pacheco Pass traffic consists of Bay Area-bound and -originating traffic, not Monterey-Salinas-Hollister-Watsonville traffic. The former is the primary population center, not the latter. Unless a new SBt Route 25 freeway (the proposed "3-in-1" road between 101 and Pacheco Pass) intended for Bay Area and Central Coast residents alike is built, why should the interchange's design direct Bay Area people onto SBt-maintained roads (especially given 152 and the intersection's location within Santa Clara County)?