Q Congrats to Caltrans for finding yet another way to make the Highway 101 commute through the Mountain View/Palo Alto construction zone even more exciting. New signs are up showing that the right lane northbound is now an "exit only" lane for Embarcadero Road, and the southbound right lane is an "exit only" lane for San Antonio. It's not yet true, of course, but it does cause the No. 2 and No. 3 lanes to come to a complete halt as those in the No. 4 lane suddenly think that they need to merge left since their lane is going away.
Perhaps they should cover up the "exit only" portion of these signs until it is actually true?
A Signs will be covered up, but there's bigger and much eagerly awaited news. Work begins this week to pave 101 starting with 3.2-mile northbound segment between Highway 85 in Mountain View and Embarcadero in Palo Alto. That will take maybe four weeks, then crews will switch to the southbound lanes. The entire process will take about eight weeks.
Caltrans will keep at least two lanes open on each side of the freeway throughout the paving process. Work will occur from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Monday through Friday. Go to www.dot.ca.gov/dist4/scl101auxlanes for details.
Q What's happening on Alum Rock Avenue between the Interstate 680 offramp and Capitol Avenue? Signs say road work until the fall of 2015.
A This is VTA's $114 million project to run express buses on Santa Clara Street and Alum Rock between downtown San Jose and Eastridge. There will be new, bus-only lanes on Alum Rock between 101 and I-680 that will allow them to bypass other traffic, as well as rail-like stations for fast, all-door boarding. Work will take about two years.
Q They have cut down lots of trees on the south side of Alum Rock Avenue between Capitol Avenue and I-680 and have been working off the road. What's happening that requires them to destroy our beautiful trees? Will they be replaced?
A Yes. The trees are in the path of the construction work for the new bus line and about 130 will be removed. But the VTA will add over 200 trees.
Q Kudos to the CHP for setting up shop in the center divider at Highway 87 and Julian Street in downtown San Jose recently. I get great pleasure in seeing those carpool cheats getting busted. It literally made my day and possibly my week!
A This highway may have more carpool cheaters than any other Bay Area freeway. A Roadshow survey a few years ago found that at least 20 percent were illegal solo drivers, more than double what Caltrans considers acceptable.
Q Once again, Congress Springs Road outside Saratoga is under construction. Signs say for the next two years. What's being built?
A Caltrans will be installing K-rails here, work that has been delayed for a week or so because of animal nesting issues.