Q I just wanted to thank you for writing the article on Bay Area traffic congestion and bringing attention to this worsening issue. I'm surprised more media are not covering this. I have been telling friends the same story for a year to their disbelief, so it's nice to know that this is not an isolated experience.
A The San Francisco-Oakland corridor ranks as the nation's third most congested commute, while San Jose has jumped from No. 13 in 2010 to No. 5 this year.
Q I commute to Redwood City. A year ago it took me 30 minutes, but now it takes 60. There are indeed a lot more cars on the road, and even my shortcuts are now crowded.
A Shortcuts still exist?
Q I gave up a wonderful gig at a Silicon Valley firm due to the impossible Benicia-Mountain View round-trip traffic -- six hours in my car some days!
A Six hours!
Q I drive Highway 87 from 85, and 87 has recently starting backing up onto 85. What is going on? I just returned to work after maternity leave, and traffic was not like this at that time.
A Hmmm. Take your newborn to work and use the carpool lane!
Q I can't help but notice that on a daily basis since you ran a letter a few months ago about someone who pointed out what a great "deal" it is to violate carpool rules for years on end and pay a ticket every once in awhile, that the carpool lane on Interstate 280 is more sluggish than ever. I see many more single rider cars now and yes, I am aware that they could have children in the back seat, but I am also aware the chances of all of them having children in the car are slim.
Can you please forward this to the CHP? I would love to get these people out of my way and the carpool lane moving faster than the rest of the lanes as it used to do and should do.
A My theory: As traffic jams dramatically increase, more solo drivers are willing to risk a $491 carpool ticket. They know that during commute times the CHP is spread thin responding to calls and traffic collisions.
Q Any idea what's up with the increase in traffic on Highway 101 from Gilroy to San Jose? My morning commute used to be 50-60 minutes max and lately it's been more like an hour and a half. Even the carpool lane slows way down in some spots.
A And on to Milpitas.
Q We relocated to Milpitas in June. I work in north San Jose and my husband in Mountain View. We enjoyed reasonable commutes over the summer, but have been suffering ever since school began. My 3-mile trek often takes 30-40 minutes and my husband's is well over an hour every day, compared to 10 to 20 minutes this summer. Is there anything in the pipeline from the traffic gods to help?
A The traffic gods are asleep at the wheel.