Q It is nice they have expanded Highway 101 on the Peninsula, as the extra lanes make traffic flow more smoothly. The problem is that if you take the Willow Road west exit, things come to a dead stop. Traffic is backed up onto the overpass and onto the freeway because of the stoplight just off the exit and the design where three lanes merge to one immediately after exiting the freeway. There is a certain bumper car feeling to this.
Is there any hope to improve this?
A There are no plans to widen Willow Road, but Menlo Park and Caltrans are considering making the traffic signals better by implementing an adaptive signal system along the 101-Willow corridor. That is where the lights react to actual traffic conditions all day long.
In addition, the city will upgrade signals on Willow Road. This could be up and running in mid-2014.
Q The blue "H" sign on the Highway 101 offramp at Embarcadero Road in Palo Alto is on the wrong exit. It points to east Embarcadero. There is NO hospital there.
Before the endless construction it was on the west sign, where it belongs. With so many out-of-town patients traveling this route, I hear much frustration! Please tell the right people. I feel helpless, but you always come through for everybody.
Rudith Weber, R.N.
A The "H" sign on the freeway from north 101 is in the right spot, but Caltrans says a second sign is missing that directs you to take Embarcadero west. The missing sign will be installed within the interchange area.
Q I drive hubby to the Diridon Station at around 5 a.m. every morning. Interstate 280 north between Southwest Expressway and Bird Avenue is extremely dark. No streetlights, and the signs are even hard to read. Both the ramp to exit 280 north at Bird and the onramp for 280 south at Bird are also very dark. The lights have been out for a long time. Is someone going to take care of the problem?
A I forwarded this to Bernie-the-Caltrans-Man, who replied: "I'll look into this, but if you were to guess ...?"
Copper thieves, of course. They yanked out much of the wiring in this area. It's unclear when the wiring will be reinstalled.
Q I recently had the pleasure of driving Capitol Expressway between Monterey Highway and 101. The drive was terrible. Vehicles dodging left and right to avoid the countless potholes. Who is responsible for repairing this section and are there plans to fix it? I feel bad for folks who drive this daily.
A This is a county road, and crews will be dispatched for some pothole filling. However, don't expect much more than that.
There is no longer a pot of regional funding comparable to the old Measure B, which was passed in 1996 and provided $27 million for paving expressways. Worse, as part of a regional deal to provide the funds necessary to repair the four-mile-long San Tomas box culvert, which is weakening and in danger of collapse, the county gave up the next three years of federal gas tax funds for pavement work.
Q I read your article on the 100-mph texter, and I have him beat. I was on the 110 freeway recently headed to Los Angeles. I was enjoying my top down and beautiful sunny Saturday morning. I could see what looked like a car crossing two lanes and doing greater than 90 mph.
As the driver passed me, she was either reading a text or sending a text and never looked up as she ran three other people into the FasTrak lane. Not only was she texting, but smoking with three kids in the car.
A Keep sending those cellphone horror stories in. I think I have now collected about a million of them, or so it seems.