Q Why are there K-rails on the Capital Avenue and Landess Avenue onramps to north Interstate 680? ... I have noticed construction on the Washington Boulevard and Auto Mall Parkway ramps to north 680. What is going on? ... "Road Work Ahead" signs were recently installed on the ramp from Alum Rock Avenue to 680. What are these for?
Patrick Sharkey, Don Manoogian, Nick George and many more
A Get ready for more metering lights. Caltrans is installing signals at 22 ramps from the 101-280 interchange in San Jose northbound to the Alameda County line. The $21.9 million project will also widen several ramps; the lights should be working in a year or so. Any ramp closings will be in nonpeak evening hours.
Q On a recent trip on Interstate 15 between Barstow and Las Vegas, there were several stretches of long uphill grades where an additional lane was created on the right, with signs indicating it was for trucks and slower traffic. It was separated from the other two lanes by a solid white line.
However, many times a car would jump into this lane to pass on the right and then jump back into the regular lanes. This happened regularly. I thought you could not cross a solid white line except to exit the roadway. Is this legal?
A No, this is not legal on I-15, but first a misconception needs to be cleared up. There are many times one can legally cross a solid white line, which sometimes is used to discourage changing lanes. This is the case on the Bay Bridge west of the metering lights.
But black and white signs or painted directions on the road may make crossing them illegal. That is the case on 1-15, where large overhead black and white signs say: "Truck lane. Slow vehicles only."
So to answer your question, the "Slow Vehicle Only" portion would prohibit a driver from using that lane to pass slower traffic in the regular lanes.
Q I commute north on Union Avenue to turn left onto Camden Avenue. It takes five to seven minutes for traffic going west on Camden to stop and the left-turn signal to turn green for folks on Union going onto Camden. It is extremely frustrating. Cars back up, and if you're stuck in the back, chances are the light will turn red before you get through the signal!
In the meantime, cars are flying through the intersection on Camden. It makes no sense why that thoroughfare gets so much time on the green light.
Can you help a poor, frustrated commuter who can't wait to retire so I don't have to do this anymore? Just an answer as to why the wait is so long would help!
A I hear this a lot -- that people wait five to seven minutes for a light to turn green. It may seem that long, but unless there is an equipment failure, the delay is usually in the 21/2- to 3-minute range at its worst per cycle. Van-the-City-Signal-Person monitored this intersection and said, "At no time does the northbound left turn ever wait more than 21/2 minutes."
I'm also afraid your light will not be given more green time. Traffic on Camden is much heavier than on Union, and any time given to Union would be taken away from Camden, which would make overall delays worse.
Q This is in response to the Chevy Volt owner who has gone 9,000 miles and never added gasoline. He should be made aware that gas has a limited shelf life and needs to be refreshed by regular refills so as to prevent fouling of the fuel system. Maybe he should unplug his car and use up some of the fuel and refresh the gasoline.
A Tom-the-Rotten-Robbie-Gas-Man say his guess is that the gas is fine for a long time: "With that said, it is probably good to move it through the system at least every three to four months. Seems like his owner's manual should be the most accurate source of info."