Q If readers think California's or San Jose's roads pale compared to those in other states, they should visit Seattle.

I spent a summer in Seattle, and while it was spectacularly beautiful, roads in Washington are mostly pre-"Leave It To Beaver" era. Old, cramped and woefully inadequate for 1980 traffic levels. You can imagine how bad it is in 2013.

Brian Bothun

Menlo Park

A I think you are about to tell us.

Q While there is a good deal of construction in Washington, it seems like all of it is to replace existing lanes and not add additional capacity. Take it from someone who spent countless hours on gridlocked Interstate 5, what Washington needs is more capacity. City streets there aren't really any better. Never did a day go by when I didn't appreciate California's roads and the improvements we've seen in the past generation.

Brian Bothun

A Really? Usually I only get complaints about California roads.

Q Seattle has one stretch of I-5 where reversible express lanes go south in the morning and north in the afternoon. Nice try, but it all it does is make the Nasty Nimitz look good. I'd rather drive I-580 over the Altamont Pass daily than try to navigate Washington's inadequate roads. At least traffic moves on 580.

Brian Bothun

A It does?

Q I'm writing as an avid cyclist to tell you about a good Samaritan who came to my aid recently after a serious accident in Palo Alto. I was cycling along Arastradero Road with three other friends when I went down headfirst onto the pavement. There was no car involved in the accident, and luckily no other cyclists went down.

Shortly after the crash, a woman in a car came upon the scene. I was unconscious and laying where I landed in the road. She not only stopped to check on us, but maneuvered her car to protect me and my friends until paramedics arrived. I have no memory of the crash or the thoughtful woman who stopped and protected us.

I would like to try to find her to say thank you, but in the heat of the moment, no one got her name.

I am happy to say that my helmet took the brunt of the force, but my injuries were serious enough for me to spend two weeks in the hospital. I am on my way to a full recovery and am very grateful to the village of medical staff and family members who cared for me, the friends, co-workers and neighbors who supported me and my family through this time, and the good Samaritan who stayed by me.

There are some amazingly thoughtful and helpful people here. Thank you whoever she is!

Jan Reed

Menlo Park

A Ms. Good Samaritan, you deserve a thank you, especially on Thanksgiving.

Q Can I nominate westbound Highway 84 for the 2013 asphalt of the year award? I just cycled down 84 from near Skylonda to La Honda and all I can say is, WOW. I have never ever encountered such perfect asphalt on a country road -- ever. It's not just nice. It's perfect.

It sounds impossible, but it's like glass. I kept waiting for just a smidgen of a bump, but there was nada. The word exquisite kept popping into my head.

Steve Rempel

Los Altos

A Exquisite and paving. Now there are two words we like.

Look for Gary Richards at Facebook.com/mr.roadshow or contact him at mrroadshow@mercurynews.com, at Twitter.com/mrroadshow.