Q What the heck happened with traffic on Highway 85 as of a couple of weeks ago? It is horrific. It takes me an hour and 15 minutes to get from Blossom Hill Road to Palo Alto.
A Horrific it has been, even for carpoolers.
Q Holy Brake Lights, Roadman! Since Oct. 1, the Highway 85 carpool lane has been stop-and-go from South San Jose past Highway 17. I take my son to school, and my route from Highway 87 to Bascom Avenue via 85 now takes 15-20 minutes, compared to the normal 10. What is going on? Metering lights out somewhere? Construction?
Everyone I've talked to who travels this route is experiencing the same delays, but no one knows the reason. Please tell me there is a reason, and it's temporary, and that 85 has not become the new 101, where the carpool lanes are slower than the others.
Or do we have to face the fact that traffic on 85 has now increased to the over-saturation level of other major Silicon Valley routes such as 101 through San Jose, 880 through the East Bay and 680 over the Sunol Grade?
A Maybe, but here's one more driver who has a good idea what is causing everyone so much grief on 85.
Q OK, I am crying "Uncle!" If the road handlers are trying to gather data to prove that metering lights work, I implore you -- tell them they are right!
If they are trying to see how long people will continue to drive in this traffic on Highway 85 before going stark, raving mad -- tell them I am close. They win! They are right! Metering lights do help.
The northbound metering lights at Blossom Hill Road and Almaden Expressway have been out of commission and have been tauntingly dark, morning in-morning out. And I am in the carpool lane with a commuter in my car. What can be done? Is there help on the way? Please, they are driving me insane.
A Traffic should ease this week, as the Blossom Hill metering lights are working again. But the meters at Almaden and occasionally De Anza Boulevard have been on the fritz, helping turn Janice's usual one-mile, 15-minute trip into a 33-minute grind.
Q Can Caltrans trim the bushes in front of signs on Highway 17? Some are completely obscured by shrubbery.
A Look for some trimming to be done on the Santa Clara County side by the end of the month.
Q Race Street at Parkmoor Avenue in San Jose was recently reconfigured and had the lane lines repainted. Southbound is nice and clear. Northbound is a disaster, especially if you are on a bicycle.
A Not good. This segment of Race from Parkmoor to Auzerais was recently changed to take out the center two-way left-turn lane and add bike lanes. New signs will be installed in the next few days to clear up the confusion.
Q I sent an email about problems with the traffic light at Winfield Boulevard at the Sears entrance in San Jose, then I remembered your new website, wherein you address issues such as this. I went there and obtained the telephone number to call and take care of this myself. I spoke with Maureen, who indicated that they are aware of this particular signal, but she would put in a request to the shop to let them know they are still having problems. Maureen was very helpful and even took my email so she could give me an update. Your website worked like a charm.
A Go to www.mercurynews.com/mr-roadshow to check it out. I field about 1,000 questions and comments a week, and there is no way I can deal with every wacky signal. This site is a way for you to get faster service. It's a work in progress, so expect more content soon.