Q We moved to Alameda some 30 years ago, when the Alameda Tube was washed frequently. Now it is in terrible condition, decades of black soot on the walls and ceiling. Drivers often don't turn their headlights on as instructed, keeping it a dark drive indeed.
Who is responsible for maintaining the Tube?
A Caltrans is and I finally have good news. Maintenance crews will wash both the Webster and Posey tubes in a couple of weeks.
Q Whatever they were doing in the Interstate 80 median between Richmond and Albany seems to have stopped. What are they doing and when will they resume and/or finish?
A Work crews will return soon on the I-80 smart corridor project and begin installing gantries over the freeway to add electronic signs that will post variable speed limits. This will cover the approximately 20-mile segment between the Bay Bridge and the Carquinez.
Q Commuting between Concord and Antioch I notice that work on Highway 4 seems to have slowed to a snail's pace. With this weather it would seem the perfect time to finish the overpasses and other major concrete components. There's one section, westbound by L Street, where there's "action," where they're pouring roadbed and have delivered bricks for the walls. But the bricks have been sitting for two weeks.
Is this really going to be done by the end of 2015?
A That's still the plan. Much of the work on Highway 4 between Pittsburg and Antioch is occurring at night, which makes it less noticeable during the day. In a couple of weeks, eastbound traffic will be shifted to new lanes to the south at Lone Tree Way in Antioch, eliminating the bend in the road that so many complain about. Then before Labor Day, westbound traffic will be shifted to new lanes to the northwest of the Hillcrest onramp and between A and G streets.
Work also continues at Hillcrest Avenue, which will be the end of the new BART line from Pittsburg. By early next year there will be extensive work in the median to prepare for BART, including bridge, tunnel and station construction.
Q What a nightmare. I needed to get to the new Kaiser facility in San Leandro and the Marina Boulevard overpass construction is just horrible. The other day it took me more than 15 minutes to get back on 880 south. The hospital is walking distance from the freeway.
Someone sure could have figured out that overpass should have been completed before the new hospital opened.
A This is a pain in the tailpipe -- but a temporary pain. Work on the overpass and the addition of a southbound carpool lane to the South Bay could wrap up early next year.
Q I live on Narvaez Avenue at Capitol Expressway in San Jose. At 6:30 a.m., I get on Highway 87 going north. This stretch of Narvaez is one lane in each direction, and as you approach the light for 87, there is a right-turn-only lane to enter 87, with "NO TURN ON RED" signs.
Inevitably someone will bypass the line of cars and go straight up to the light as if they are continuing down Narvaez, and instead will turn right around the island onto the ramp, in effect jumping the line, because they just can't wait literally a couple of minutes. This makes the backup worse. It's pretty much the same cars who do it every day.
Is it legal to make that turn around the curb island instead of using the right-turn only lane? If it's not, can something be done?
A Yes, it is legal but it may not be for long. The city says it will consider installing a sign with a circle slash around a right turn arrow at the island. The turn is technically legal because the island is part of the roadway and cars making the right turn are making a right "closest to the curb way" as required.
Q A few weeks ago my daughter called me at 1 a.m. that she ran out of gas on Interstate 680 before the Alum Rock exit. She was scared since it was very dark. I told her to stay in the car and lock the doors, then grabbed my gas can, frantically driving as quick as I could. I couldn't believe how dark it was. All the lights on the exits were out and I also felt unsafe and very nervous.
What's going on with all the lights on the exits on the highway in San Jose? It doesn't look like Silicon Valley. I felt that I was in the middle of the boonies somewhere.
A Copper thieves are to blame. Orders are in to install new wiring, but the backlog is considerable.
Q A big thank you to the wonderful Campbell Police Dept. who patrol Hamilton Avenue. I go through that intersection several times a day. I have seen a bicyclist hit and multiple accidents and remnants of accidents. We in our neighborhood think Campbell police are wonderful.
A A San Jose motorist voiced displeasure at Campbell's crackdown on speeders here. But for people living there, it's another story.