Q Mr. Roadshow, during my morning commute I have noticed for years that the Lawrence Expressway exit has a very large backup onto I-280. Is anything planned that might help alleviate this backup? ... Capitol Expressway is a grind all day. Any improvements planned? ... Will Almaden Expressway be widened into south San Jose?

Damon Andrade and many more

A Find out by attending one of several meetings Santa Clara County will be hosting to unveil potential upgrades to its network of eight expressways and the Santa Teresa-Hale Corridor. All meetings run from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., and you can drop in anytime.

Tuesday: Seven Trees Community Center, 3590 Cas Drive, San Jose.

Thursday: West Valley Library, 1243 San Tomas Aquino Road, San Jose.

Jan. 14: Valley Transportation Authority auditorium, 3331 N. First St., San Jose.

Jan. 16: Los Altos Youth Center, 1 North San Antonio, Los Altos.

Feb. 13: Morgan Hill Community Center, 17000 Monterey Road.

Q I don't understand how Oregon Expressway can be called an expressway. The speed limit is 35 mph but the timing of the lights is completely off. I don't mind the 35 but calling it an expressway is misleading.

Victoria Li

Palo Alto

A Help is on the way. The county could finish an upgrade on traffic signals from West Bayshore to Bryant this year. Go to www.oregonexpressway.info for details.


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Q I commute through El Camino Real and 237, and as you hit the intersection, traffic stacks up waiting to turn right on El Camino. The lane just to the left is a straight-only lane. Since traffic is so bad going right, has any thought been given to making that straight-only lane a straight-or-right turn?

Traci Hatling

Sunnyvale

A Yes, but it's not going to happen. Caltrans says while adding a shared right-through lane to the westbound approach may reduce morning backups, it would most likely make traffic worse in the afternoon. But there is some good news. Caltrans will retime signals on El Camino from Palo Alto to I-880 this spring, and that may improve operations at this intersection.

Q I have a question on car seats and boosters for the 8-and-under set. At what point should kids move from a car seat to a booster? ... When do your experts say kids can get out of a booster seat and just use seat belts like an adult?

Adam Wright and Mel G.

A That depends on several factors. It is best for kids to continue to use a forward-facing car seat with a harness and top tether in the back seat for as long as possible. Booster seats are for older children who have outgrown a forward-facing seat. All kids must sit in the back in either a booster seat or car seat until 8 or until they are 4 feet 9 inches in height. Here are five steps to test whether your kids can sit safely in a seat belt:

  • Can they sit with their back flat up against the vehicle seat?

  • Do their knees bend naturally over the edge of the seat cushion?

  • Does the lap belt fit across their hips or thighs?

  • Does the shoulder belt sit across their shoulder and not over their face, under their arm or behind their back?

    Look for Gary Richards at Facebook.com/mr.roadshow, follow him at Twitter.com/mrroadshow or contact him at mrroadshow@mercurynews.com or 408-920-5335.