By J. Harry Jones, The San Diego Union Tribune
The popular Park & Ride on state Route 76 just west of Interstate 15 reopened Wednesday — nearly doubling the available parking spaces and marking the end of a huge, multi-decade highway construction project.
The 220-space parking lot, just east of the busy Mobil gas station and Circle K convenience store next to Old Highway 395, has been closed for several years, first for the reconfiguration of the freeway interchange and then for the completion of the state Route 76 widening and realignment project.
That $400 million widening project, which began in the 1990s and was completed earlier this year, has transformed the highway from a once-dangerous, curvy, two-lane road — clogged by rush-hour traffic — to a wider, straighter, four-lane thoroughfare all the way from Interstate 5 to Interstate 15.
The reconstruction of the Park & Ride in Fallbrook was the final piece of the last stage of the project.
The Park & Ride is very popular with commuters, many of whom drive their cars south from Temecula and other parts of the Inland Empire, park, and then either take a bus or carpool to jobs in San Diego.
A temporary parking lot on the other side of the highway will be closed permanently at the end of this week.
Bus service for Riverside Transit Authority Route 202 has now returned to the improved Park & Ride location. Bus service to the temporary lot ended Wednesday.
“With nearly double the parking capacity and new amenities, including electric vehicle charging stations, the new Park & Ride offers car-poolers and transit riders a convenient place to meet or catch a bus,” said Ron Roberts, a county supervisor and chairman of the San Diego Association of Governments board of directors. “It also enhances motorist and pedestrian safety with new sidewalks and paving on Old Highway 395 and a traffic signal.”