Q I recently saw a new message on the electronic signs Caltrans uses along the freeway, something like: "In a minor crash? Pull to the shoulder." That was great.
But why can't we have more messages that actually would help the flow of traffic, such as "Slow traffic move right," "Wipers on, headlights on" or "Be a thinker, use your blinker"?
A There are no plans to add those messages, though I wish Caltrans would. And I'm betting many of you do as well.
Q There is a weight limit on Highway 85 from 280 south to 101 which excludes large trucks from using 85. While on 85 there are any number of cars and pickups pulling trailers, while under the weight limit, that go 65 mph or better. Is there a 55-mph limit for these people or not?
A There sure is. All vehicles pulling trailers are limited to 55 mph and must remain in the far right lane on 85 except when passing.
Q Gary, I am one of the 50,000 friends of a reader who also believes that the Interstate 880 carpool lane should end before 101. Traffic has worsened since that carpool lane opened.
A I think he may have more than 50,000 friends.
Q Do you know of any changes in traffic control (stoplights, turn restrictions, etc.) planned along Stevens Creek Boulevard between Lawrence Expressway and Wolfe Road in Cupertino? With the combination of the new building under construction at the Interstate 280 south exit, the residential complex near Vallco and the huge new project at Tantau, it's hard to imagine that Stevens Creek can handle the increased traffic loads those complexes will bring. Traffic already is nearly at a standstill between Lawrence and Tantau many hours of the day, and there just doesn't seem to be anywhere to put the increased vehicles that will be coming. Any news or planned changes?
A This is a complicated area. The 280/Lawrence/Stevens Creek interchanges run through three cities -- Santa Clara, San Jose, Cupertino -- and other agencies all coordinate traffic improvements in that area. Santa Clara has required the developer of the new office complex behind IHOP near Stevens Creek and 280 to install a signal at Stevens Creek and Stern. This will be happening soon.
Cupertino has just completed a signal retiming and coordination effort along all of Stevens Creek within Cupertino, which resulted in reduced travel times up to 40 percent along the corridor. Other improvements are being pursued at Stevens Creek and Calvert and Stevens Creek and Lawrence down the road.
Q Driving up Highway 101 on the way home from Thanksgiving, we noticed a lot of work being done on the median north of King City until roughly Chualar. What's going on?
A Caltrans is widening the shoulder and installing a concrete median barrier in Soledad and north of Soledad. Work should end in a couple of months.