Q Are there any plans to fix Reliez Valley Road through Martinez? It's very rough and teeth-shattering. ... A while back, someone asked about getting the lights on San Carlos Boulevard in San Carlos synchronized, and you replied that it was going to happen, but they were just waiting for some kind of hardware. Those lights are still annoying. ... The condition of the No. 3 lane of eastbound Blossom Hill Road near Chesbro in San Jose is reminiscent of the Indiana Jones ride in Disneyland.
Kim Bjork, Keith Hearn and Sam Grove
A Folks, put on your Mr. Roadshow caps and get to work. There is $320 million in federal money headed here over the next four years under what is called the One Bay Area Grant program, a new funding approach designed to align the region's federal transportation program with the mandates of California's landmark climate law.
Cities and counties can apply for funds to be spent to repair major streets, build and widen sidewalks, create bike lanes and crossings, install smart signals, and improve landscaping and street lighting.
Officials want input from Roadshow readers. Fire off suggestions to twhe following contacts:
Santa Clara County: firstname.lastname@example.org
San Mateo County: email@example.com.
Contra Costa County: firstname.lastname@example.org
Alameda County: email@example.com
Sorry, but the money can't be used for road or transit expansions.
Q Can't believe you didn't mention sunflower seeds when writing how sleepy drivers can remain awake. Most everyone I have talked to knows it's the only way to stay awake. Something to do with the hand/mouth activity. They have saved my life many times when nothing else works.
A Anyone else with tips on remaining alert behind the wheel?
Q When driving north on Santa Rita Road in Pleasanton and entering I-580 eastbound, there is a metering light that at times gets very backed up. When you get onto I-580 you are not required to merge for at least one mile until El Charro Road. Since you are not required to actually merge with traffic for quite some time, giving you plenty of time to gain speed and merge smoothly, why is this metering light required? You have the exact same scenario between El Charro and Airway Boulevard.
A Caltrans says all the onramps along 580 are metered, and to manage freeway bottlenecks throughout the corridor they need to remain so. If the Santa Rita onramp wasn't metered, it would create a gap in the metering system. Other metered traffic would divert to Santa Rita, and freeway traffic might start getting off I-580 and getting back on at Santa Rita.
Added Alan-the-Caltrans-Metering-Man: "This was a problem for us before the implementation of the ramp meters. Metering all onramps in the corridor will eliminate all this cut-though traffic."
Q Electronic signs went up on First Street in San Jose on both the north and south sides of Montague Expressway a few weeks ago. They say work will be from October to April from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Can you shed some light as to what's going to be happening, why it's going to take that long and why it's being done during the day?
A This will widen the north side of Montague Expressway between Orchard Drive and Zanker Road to provide a fourth lane westbound. In addition, a new sanitary sewer will be installed under this fourth lane.
The majority of work is taking place along the north side of the expressway and requires the closure of one westbound lane weekdays. The remaining two westbound lanes will remain open at all times.
Nighttime work would have been considered only if it meant closing more westbound lanes.
The project will also lengthen the left-turn pocket from east Montague to North First Street. While this work is being performed, one eastbound lane will be closed between Lick Mill Drive and North First Street weekdays.
Q I understand that Caltrans is probably busy with more important work right now, but over a month ago a section of El Camino Real in Menlo Park and Atherton was repaved. Lovely. But is this stretch repainted yet? Nope. And with the rains, I'd call the situation dangerous. Drivers are making three lanes where there have been two. Previous right- and left-turn lanes are nonexistent. Students from Menlo College dash across El Camino to a mini-market without the protection of marked crosswalks. In the past two years there have been two deaths (a pedestrian and a bicyclist) at the corner of El Camino and Watkins. And the situation is surely worse now. Can you lean a bit on Caltrans?
A Caltrans says it'll get to this as soon as the weather clears. After all the recent rain, workers need several days of warm, dry weather to do this work.