Q It appears the northbound carpool lane on Highway 101 starting around Rengstorff Avenue has been closed during the latest construction. The lane next to it does not have diamond markings, but people still treat it as a carpool lane as far as University Avenue. I think this is not a carpool lane. Is that a correct assumption?
A Your assumption is correct, at least for a few more days. Caltrans says it will install diamond lane markings in a couple of weeks to make it clear where the carpool lane begins.
Q Can you tell me what those devices are that are on some traffic light poles? They are square, turned 45 degrees and have a directional antenna which points up or down the road. They do not look like a camera. They are almost flat and are close to the support pole., but they are on the arm that goes out over the street which holds the traffic light. There's one at the corner of Meridian Avenue and Blossom Hill Road in San Jose.
A These are indeed not cameras but 900-megahertz radios with directional antennas used to communicate traffic flow at city intersections where the city does not have any other type of communications setup. They pass on signal controller data, traffic video data, speed radar data, streetlight control data, etc. back to city hall so engineers can remotely manage equipment on the road.
Q Bear Creek Road was resurfaced and re-striped from Highway 17 to Highway 35 a couple months ago. My husband and I drive it every day and have been waiting patiently for the reflective dots to be replaced, but it still hasn't happened. I hope someone hasn't decided not to replace them. There are many occasions when those dots are what keep drivers on the road! This is a safety issue, not cosmetic or fulfilling some random regulation. Do you know what the plan is?
A To come to your rescue. Santa Clara County officials agree with you and are working with a contractor to get these markers placed. I may know more next week.
Q There is a portion of Lincoln Avenue in San Jose that runs in front of the Jamba Juice and Crepevine, which have a very busy parking lot with many cars constantly going in and out. Northbound traffic on Lincoln has to stop at the red light on Willow Street. This backs up cars in front of that parking lot entrance so drivers on the southbound side who want to turn left into the lot have to wait until a courteous northbound driver leaves enough space to get into the lot or wait until the light at Willow changes to green so traffic clears. It's frustrating if you're trying to get in or out of that parking lot. Can the city paint a "keep clear" box on the street so that won't happen?
A The city most likely won't do this, since many drivers ignore such warnings and they are not enforceable. Said Lily-the-City-Engineer: "It ultimately comes down to courtesy of drivers."
Q I am surprised in a recent column that you did not mention that repeated pushing of the pedestrian button will not speed up the signal cycle at pedestrian crossings. How many times have you seen pedestrians continue pushing the button until the signal changes?
A Plenty, and you are correct. Pushing the button over and over will not get you a walk sign any faster and can wear out the button sooner.
Q I regularly drive nearly the full length of Coleman Road. On the eastbound section between Camden Avenue and Meridian Avenue there are quite a number of markings that appear to designate locations for repair. Is there a timeline for when these will be done?
A Coleman Road is indeed marked for repaving but work has been delayed because of delays with a sanitary sewer pipe replacement project. The sewer work won't start until next spring and the city has decided to hold off repaving Coleman until after then.