Q There has been a lot of concern with how drivers will react to the new rules without toll takers being present on the Golden Gate Bridge.

Norm McRae

A Yes, there has been, and Day One did have a problem -- but not what many expected.

Q I was one of those who believed the powers-that-be at the Golden Gate should have kept one tollbooth open for those wishing to pay by cash. But as my carpool partner and I crossed the bridge Wednesday morning and saw how fast people were going through that area, I think they made a wise decision. Imagine one lane at a virtual stop for cash-paying drivers while other lanes with FasTrak are going 45 mph.

Linda Clemens

San Rafael

A There was virtually no traffic jam during the morning commute. The problem was those speeding drivers. The new speed limit is 25 mph through the toll plaza, but some were zipping along at 35, 45 or 55-plus.

Give this time to sort out, and let's get through several weekends when tourist use is higher before gauging the impact of all-electronic tolling.

Q I took the San Rafael-Richmond Bridge Wednesday, then backtracked into San Francisco over the Bay Bridge because I feared there would be a mess on the Golden Gate. The Bay Bridge was amazingly flowing freely. I think I'll try this again.

Jeff Sands


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A Be careful. Traffic is lighter this week because many schools are out for Easter break. Check back in a few weeks when the kids are back in school and traffic is heavier. I bet the Bay Bridge will again be at a crawl.

Q I can't help but chuckle when I see the uproar regarding something so trivial as the new Golden Gate Bridge toll system. Your column has been devoted almost solely to this issue for the past few weeks, and it doesn't seem like people are getting it. Is this really such a big deal? Here it is, folks: Go sign up for FasTrak, and drive through the toll plaza. If you don't commute regularly and don't want FasTrak in your car, then pay the bill when it arrives in the mail. Problem solved.

Steve Pettit

Brentwood

A Ah, I so like simple solutions.

Q I believe that in order to use a transponder without a problem, the car's license plate must be registered to the account. ... I just had to write in to correct your response about loaning your transponder to out-of-town guests or even family members. You said "reasonable advice." Nope! You must have all license numbers registered with your transponder. Otherwise the person using it will get a ticket.

Paulette Avery, Carol Stanek and more

A Not so. John-the-MTC-Bridge-Man says a FasTrak transponder "can be loaned for use in another vehicle" on state bridges.

Q There's a lot of quibbling about the cost of a FasTrak responder but one can buy them at Costco for $25 that comes with $30 worth of tolls. So, essentially, one is easily ahead of the game. I rarely use the Bay Area bridges but I bought one just in case.

Frank Heinisch

Brentwood

A All-electronic tolling will come to more bridges in the next few years, and so will more express or toll lanes. FasTrak will be required on those bridges as well as in the express lanes. On the Golden Gate, FasTrak users get a $1 discount on a $6 toll.

Q I've been unable to find any information concerning pedestrian and bicycle access on Highway 1 in the Devils Slide area. Will the old Highway 1 route be maintained as a pedestrian and bike trail?

An empty toll booth at the Golden Gate Bridge toll plaza in San Francisco, March 27, 2013.
An empty toll booth at the Golden Gate Bridge toll plaza in San Francisco, March 27, 2013. (STEPHEN LAM, Reuters)

Joe Di Pol

Sunnyvale

A Yes, but it won't be ready until early next year.

Q I took a last drive over Devils Slide last weekend and I'll miss it. It was always the grand start of a great drive south down the coast. The tunnels just won't be the same.

Jim Lazar

Walnut Creek

A The view was spectacular, but the dangers were too great.

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