Q I'm not sure my question is within your specialty area, but this is regarding sidewalks. I once paid a man $20 when he came to our door and told us he could spray paint our address on the curb. A notice said "76% of all 911 calls occur after dark" and "a curbside address number can help protect you and your loved ones."
Is this true? Don't fire departments and police departments use GPS to locate addresses? Or are they still relying on painted curb address?
A The neighborhood notice that you received was most likely an advertising pitch. Police usually use their patrol car's spotlight to locate address numbers on a house, so it isn't that important to have the numbers stenciled on the curb. Emergency responders also have GPS capabilities, and more often use the computer in the patrol car to pinpoint an address.
It boils down to one question: Do you want bright address numbers painted on your curb? If you do, great. If you don't, chances are that emergency workers will find your house just as quickly.
Q I thought you'd get a kick out of an earlier email I sent and maybe use it in your column to add some humor amid all of the serious cellphone, etc., questions that are always so depressing. I guess when you hurt your foot you lost your sense of humor?
A Lost my sense of humor? Pain or no pain, perish the thought. Let's go.
Q We all know about the "Adopt a Highway" program where companies and other volunteers clean up the litter that people continue to leave. Since we never seem to use the money that they get from raising our taxes, specifically for the purpose of fixing our roads, couldn't we start a similar program called "Adopt-a-Pothole"?
We could ask companies and other volunteers to take ownership of one or more of the thousands of potholes that are all over the highways, especially Highway 87, and fill them up so that drivers don't continue to get flat tires or more severe damage.
Just a thought.
A Not a bad thought, even though I rate potholes as more depressing than comments on texting. Highway 87 is a good place to start.
Q Highway 87 is our Baghdad. I drove almost the entire length of 87 from Highway 85 to the First Street exit, and I must say, I forgot how awful this joke of a highway is. I felt like I was on a roller coaster the whole way. I will never ever drive that road again. When will we get a smooth Highway 87?
A Not anytime soon, I am afraid. The portion of 87 from Route 85 to Interstate 280 is not eligible for paving funds because of other funding priorities. The portion from I-280 to First Street is on the list of roads to be paved, but it is not in the current 10-year paving plan. In other words, no paving for 87 at this time.
The state highway system needs $22.4 billion over the next 28-years for repair work. However, only $14 billion is available to meet that need. So roads like Highway 87 get put on the waiting list.
Q I was driving southbound on Blossom Hill Road one morning last week in San Jose. Gal ahead of me in a silver sedan couldn't stay in her own lane, would hit the brakes when the light was green, the usual erratic things. When we hit a red light I pulled up next to her and could see her texting on her phone. I lowered my window, tapped my horn and motioned her to lower her window.
She shook her head "no." So I pulled out my cellphone, showed it to her and wagged both my finger and head in a "no" gesture to her. She immediately responded back by nodding her head and putting her phone down.
A Hurrah indeed!