Q Why have the lights been turned off on most signs on Highway 101 and Interstate 280 for some time now? Some of these are rather dangerous intersections when the signs aren't lighted. ... I just got back from traveling from 85 to 17 to 880 to Brokaw Road and noted at least a couple of dozen of highway lights out. I know the state is short of money, but why are so many not on? ... Why don't the metering lights at 237 and 101 work in the afternoon? They used to start up right at 3 p.m. but they no longer do that. ... The metering lights at Blossom Hill Road to 85 are not working in the mornings. Has someone taken the copper wiring or are the timers maybe off?
Lawrence Morgan, Eric Bracher, Ronda Hansen, Martha Bryan and more
A Yes. In almost all cases, these darkened lights are due to copper wire thefts. Caltrans is trying to get them back on as soon as possible, but the backlog is lengthy. This is, of course, bad news. So the rest of today is devoted to news of the good variety.
Q Thanks for helping turn down the volume on the Almaden Plaza sign off Highway 85. Funny thing is that now they've turned it down, it's actually readable. You wonder what they were thinking. ... I am happy to report that the brightness has been reduced. Though I am not a fan of this type of signage, what I observed the other night is much more reasonable than the intensity observed the week before.
Steve Rempel, Scott Sherratt and more
A No longer will you need your sunglasses at night driving through here.
Q Heading southbound on Almaden Expressway, as you cross Blossom Hill Road and are in the far right, there appears a solid white line for a new lane to your right, which becomes a broken white line. If you want to enter the Shell station on the corner, you would have to cross the solid white line, which of course is a no-no. I'm in a sweat every time I do this that one of the many SJPD officers who frequent Peet's will see me and give me a ticket for what seems to be a "no good options" area. What can be done?
A Within a couple of weeks, the county will shorten the solid white line and extend the dashed line closer to the intersection to allow better access into the Shell station.
Q On the southbound side of Highway 17, there was significant damage to the new paving from a big-rig fire a few weeks ago. When will that be repaired? And the Summit Road exit sign on south 17 was damaged. Is a new sign in the works?
A Yes and yes. Before Halloween for paving repairs; and before Thanksgiving for the sign.
Q Road work has been happening at the crossing between Snell Avenue and Santa Teresa Boulevard in San Jose. When will it be done?
A Soon. The city is about a month away from laying down new pavement in this area. Work on striping, signal loops and utilities will take until the end of the year.
Q There are two crosswalks on Jackson Avenue between McKee Road and Alum Rock Avenue, a very busy main street in East San Jose. It's surrounded by senior homes, a senior day care center, the Regional Medical Center and a concentration of apartment/condo complexes.
Jackson turns into a bottleneck during rush hour and pedestrians (especially seniors) have a difficult time getting across. I walk my son in a stroller and never use these crosswalks because frankly, they're dangerous -- and I'm an agile 20-something, much less someone from the elderly community using a cane.
Is it possible to get these crosswalks painted and install a lighted strip like crosswalks in Milpitas?
Jenna Lou Tenorio
A Both of the uncontrolled crosswalks across Jackson have what safety engineers call "high-visibility ladder striping" and fluorescent green advisory signs, all in good condition. But later this year the city will install flashing beacons at both locations to enhance the visibility of pedestrians.