Every day, hundreds of students make the commute to California Baptist University from different cities. California is infamous for its traffic and one of the most congested freeways in Southern California is the SR-91, which serves students on their daily commute to CBU.
The 91 freeway is the main source of travel from Riverside and Orange County carrying more then 300,000 vehicles a day. County residents often experience a commute of up to three hours to and from home, depending on the proximity.
“My commute is usually reverse traffic,” said Jaz Pineda, senior graphic design major. “When I get closer to school and the construction starts I hit traffic, and it can be frustrating when I leave early enough from my house to get to class on time and the traffic makes me late to class.”
Riverside County Transportation Commission is in progress of working on a project to improve traffic and travel on SR-91. The project is called the “SR-91 Corridor Improvement Project” and it began last year.
The project is expected to extend the existing toll express lanes, add general purpose lanes between SR-17 and SR-15, and the 15 and 91 interchange to Pierce Street, as well as improve 5 local interchanges which have yet to be decided.
“ I think if the construction is going to fix the freeway and open it up, it (the construction) will be worth it in the long run,” said Pineda. “But it’s definitely and inconvenience.”
Even though the project has caused an increase in traffic, Anne Mayer, executive director of the commission, states there is no other option.
“The alternative really is not acceptable, in that we already have such severe congestion on this corridor; it will only get worse. We have to do something here,” Mayer said. “The project that we’re proposing is going to make that commute so much easier, and it’s going to give us the ability to move more people along the corridor.”
Bradley Weaver from Riverside Transit Agency, reminds students of alternative ways to travel to avoid traffic.
“Taking the city bus is a great way for students to travel or even start carpooling,” Weaver said. “In fact the bus is completely free for students, and we (RTA) have made it really accessible and easy for students to ride.”
All of the projects depend on the weather, and detour signs will be posted. Commuters have been warned to expect delays between Adam street, the 15 on ramp, and the 91.
The project has a budget of 1.3 billion dollars and is expected to take course over the next four years.
Citizens can follow along with the project and gather additional information at www.91hovproject.com.