Q Last week the construction zone was crazy on Highway 17 near Scotts Valley.
A Oh, it will be even crazier soon along much of 17 as well as Interstate 880 in Santa Clara County, but I digress. Tell us more.
Q They had these giant, heavy orange cones and all of us going south on 17 were directed into a northbound lane. My fingernails were embedded in my palm. I had no clue there was going to be this amazing construction zone. There was a little sign of road work ahead and another little sign to slow to 35 mph. Can they post bigger and better signs? Can you alert everyone?
A That I can do. Caltrans is installing a new median barrier by Santa's Village, and that work should end next year in the fall. Lanes will be closed at night as early as 8 p.m., and delays could reach 15 minutes. Engineers think the signs are adequate.
But there is more work looming. Paving will soon begin on Highway 17 from the summit north to near Bear Creek Road, with a second paving job around Lark Avenue to begin late this month. And I-880 will be repaved from I-280 to 101, with work scheduled to begin June 13.
All this work will occur at night, but delays are inevitable, so plan ahead. Check the Santa Clara County work by going to www.dot.ca.gov/dist4 and clicking on "Projects."
Q I was in San Diego and ended up on a toll road. I have FasTrak up here, but decided to stop and pay cash, as I wasn't sure if my FasTrak worked in Southern California. Do you know?
A Yep. FasTrak works throughout California, including on all toll roads, but is not compatible with electronic toll systems in other states.
Q Last Saturday, my wife and I encountered a long backup on Highway 152 over Pacheco Pass due to the cleanup of an accident. Just before the backup started, we passed a fellow walking along the side of the highway dragging a full-sized white wooden cross on his shoulder. Have you heard who this guy is and his story? Why would the CHP allow him to walk along the pass carrying a cross?
A The CHP has dealt with this guy, but was unable to get his name or reason for carrying the cross. He was escorted off Highway 101 in April, then went to the CHP office in May to get permission to walk down 101 around Gilroy. Pedestrians and bicyclists are not allowed on freeways like the stretch of 101 he wanted to walk. However, it is legal to walk on the shoulder of a highway, and 152 over Pacheco Pass is a highway, not a freeway. So the cross man can legally be out there. He was advised of the dangers of walking on the shoulder -- especially on 152, where the speed limit is 65 mph.
Q I bicycled from Shoreline Park down the bay and to Morgan Hill. There are trails and bike lanes almost the entire way, but some are not marked. Can the Guadalupe River Trail have better signage? It's beautiful, but you have to do a bit of searching to find the way.
A That is a loooong ride, and soon it will be a better ride. San Jose will be paving six miles of the Guadalupe River Trail soon and will install signs connecting it with other bikeways.
Q I have an example of the absolute worst signage in the Bay Area. Headed east on Highway 92 coming off the San Mateo Bridge, they are completing the junction at I-880. There is now a concrete wall that splits traffic going south or north to 880 from traffic that continues east into Hayward at Jackson Avenue. They give you a heads-up on this about a quarter-mile in advance (good), but then about 100 yards from the "do-or-die" split, they have a huge exit sign for San Lorenzo and some street which 99.9 percent of 92 traffic does not want. So they stay left of the barrier, which of course dumps them into Hayward and not onto 880.
Want proof that this is a problem? I got in the first left-turn lane on Jackson to make a U-turn back to 880, and 90 percent of cars in that lane made U-turns like me. They need another sign.
A You are right. Caltrans will install an additional overhead sign late this month at the split. This should alleviate the problem.
Contact Gary Richards at firstname.lastname@example.org or 408-920-5335.