Q For the $64 million used to add carpool lanes on Interstate 880 from 237 to 101, I could alleviate traffic congestion in the entire South Bay. Could anyone explain how the new lanes will save 14 minutes in travel times? I would love to listen. I am ready for a good laugh. Anyone see the daily backup at First Street?

Bob Brasher

San Jose

A Caltrans predicts there will be a 14-minute savings in travel southbound during the afternoon commute, while other directions will see a savings of one to four minutes.

Q There was an immediate improvement when they opened the 880 lanes. It is very noticeable southbound in the afternoon. I'm right there with Caltrans estimate of 14 minutes saved. Tax money well spent!

Dave Monette

Santa Clara

A The savings may even be greater when Caltrans turns on the metering lights at Brokaw to south 880 in the afternoon.

Q YAY for the new Interstate 880 carpool lane! I commute from San Jose to Fremont on my motorcycle and last Wednesday was my first ride home in the commute lane. No more lane-splitting between 237 and 101! While I can understand motorists being startled by bikes passing between cars, they have to understand how difficult it is to keep a 500-pound-plus bike upright in stop-and-go traffic. I am happy.

One last request: Please drivers, check your blind spot before changing lanes! If you don't feel comfortable glancing over your shoulder for a split second, then you're probably following too close to the car in front of you.

Mary Ollerton

San Jose

A There have been only a few complaints about the impact of these new lanes so far. That usually means most everyone is as happy. Can it be?

Q There is a lot of land that was set aside on the northeast corner of where I-880 and Highway 87 intersect. Since they are not going to build an interchange, why don't they complete the auxiliary lane from the First Street onramp to the Coleman Avenue exit? The 880 freeway goes from five lanes above First Street all the way down to three lanes at the point where First Street traffic enters 880 south, creating a bottleneck. Keeping the freeway four lanes through Coleman would help traffic flow. It is only a quarter of a mile, Gary! ... It's almost there, just a few hundred yards and widening of one creek overpass, and it would enable folks time to merge onto 880 southbound there (and folks getting off at Coleman some more time to get over). Now everyone on 880 southbound is tapping the brakes any time of day since the merge from First is so short and sharp. Please tell me this is on the horizon!

Lloyd Grant, Michael Foster and more

A Alas, the horizon is far, far away. This is my way home at night, and I share your pain. The Valley Transportation Authority did a corridor study between I-280 and 101 on I-880 that looked at adding auxiliary lanes between Coleman and First, but Caltrans says this would probably require widening the bridge over the Guadalupe River or building a new bridge. Either choice would be expensive and there is no time frame for this to happen.

Q The early verdict on the880 widening is: Yes, the commute is improved, especially northbound. The whole section north of 101 opens up nicely. However, the three-lane section between 280 and 101 is almost as bad, and the 101 interchange is still clogged in prime time. So, Oracle of Traffic, any word when we might get another lane between 280 and 101?

Chris Ashton

A Sorry, the horizon on this is also far down the road. My guess is it's more than a decade away.

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