Q My husband left for a Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors meeting at 8 a.m. last week from deep in the Almaden Valley. At most this usually takes an hour (which in and of itself is ridiculous). At 8:40 he called and said he was still stuck on Highway 87 south of Curtner Avenue. We thought, "OK, try Monterey Highway?" That was just as bad if not worse. At 8:55 he finally said "forget it" and headed home.
I know the economy is better, and I am grateful for that, but is it like this every morning? I am one of the lucky ones. It's 10 minutes from my house to my office. But when we have to go to these early-morning meetings how much time do we need to allow?
A Even carpoolers are finding it slow on 87.
Q What has happened of late on north Highway 87? I take my wife to work every morning from South San Jose to her office near the airport, first taking 85 and then exiting onto 87. I can generally move over into the commuter lane and it is a simple 20-minute drive. Beginning a couple of weeks ago, traffic become noticeably worse, resulting in backups even onto the 87 entrance from 85, as well as backups in the commuter lane. What changed?
A Well ...
Q Can you elaborate on why the metering lights from Highway 85 south to 87 north and at Alma Avenue to 87 north aren't on? This has become a slow and painful commute every morning. ... What's wrong with the meter from Almaden Expressway to 87?
Sharon K., Laura Biagini and so many more
A While increased traffic gets much of the blame, as well as schools being back in session, the bigger issue is that power was lost at several onramps. Caltrans maintenance crews have been working with PG&E; there is no timetable for a fix and a smoother 87 commute.
Q I want to alert readers to an increase of vehicle break-ins at VTA park and rides, particularly at the Tamien lot. One Saturday between midnight and 8 a.m. three vehicles -- including my Prius -- were robbed by individuals who smashed the passenger side window. The sheriff confirmed an upswing in break-ins. I have been using the lots for more than 14 years with never a worry. This all changed last week.
A The VTA has a new app called VTAlerts to help it respond more quickly to reports of vandalism, system safety, suspicious activity and less frequent issues such as unattended bags, assaults, fights, robberies and thefts. Go to vta.org and click on the headline about "VTAlerts."
Q A while back you stated that repaving of Lawrence Expressway would be done this summer. Has that been postponed?
A Yes. The county hopes to make repairs sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas.