Q In response to Vinu Arumugham's recent letter regarding problems going from south Interstate 880 to south Highway 101, I see a larger picture: Some drivers think "the common sense alternative" equals "doing what is most convenient for me." This includes stopping on the freeway, illegal U-turns, lane splitting at freeway speeds, running yellow lights, etc. It drives me bonkers.
But I suppose if everyone drove like we did when we were fresh out of Driver's Ed, we wouldn't need Mr. Roadshow.
A Vinu ignited a firestorm after he received his first ticket in 15 years for cutting illegally and stopping as he tried to go from south 880 to the ramp to south 101. Traffic backs up here every day, and he contended that what he did was safe and what countless others do constantly. The CHP officer told him to take the next exit.
Q It only makes sense that you drive to the next exit. You don't stop on a freeway! It was Vinu's first ticket in 15 years? Something tells me he probably has just been extremely lucky. His lack of concern for the safety of others is unnerving.
A But ...
Q The 880-101 interchange can simply not handle the demand, and expecting people to continue down to North First Street or Coleman Road and doing an interchange U-turn is not realistic. This interchange needs a major rethinking. A raised interchange (a la 280-680-101) is probably warranted.
A Warranted, yes. Funded, no.
Q Regarding the lane changes at the entrance of the 101 from the 880, I have to drive that any time I visit my mother from my home in L.A. and it is the most ridiculous interchange I have ever encountered (and I lived in Boston for 15 years, where roads were originally cow paths). The exit lane pops up very quickly and is very short, and you have no choice but to cut across a lot of traffic to reach it.
It would never occur to me that I am not allowed to stop in order to merge into the lane I need, especially to get to an exit. If one is in the carpool lane and needs to exit, one often comes to a stop during heavy traffic in order to merge into the adjacent lane. The problem is not the person trying to change lanes, but the people already in the lane who don't make room for someone with their turn signal on. The officer was being ridiculous.
Rancho Palos Verdes
A Whoa. You stop in the carpool lane to make an exit? Shame on you. That is a big Roadshow no-no.
Q The message I am getting from Vinu's letter about merging across multiple lanes of traffic on a freeway just so he can get to his exit is that his needs supersede everyone else's on the road. People, listen up: The exit you want is not your exit if it is backed up and clogged. Keep driving to the next exit and everyone will be safer and less stressed.
A And looking down the road a bit ...
Q The biggest backup I have on my commute is the 880-101 interchange. My concern is if 880-101 is already backing up traffic what's going to happen when the diamond lane now under construction ends right where today's backup starts? It would be best if the diamond lane ends about two miles south of 101.
A That would be best, but current plans call for the carpool lane to start and end just north of 101. Long-range plans will extend it further south, but that is many years away.
Q Is there any hope of landscaping the 880-Coleman interchange by the San Jose airport in our lifetimes? The gateway to San Jose/Silicon Valley is still an eyesore.
A Yes, there is hope. The city and the VTA have recently renewed discussions on how to pay for some landscaping work.