Q We've been driving from South San Jose to Brentwood since my mother moved there in 2002 (probably not as often as Mom would like). The Highway 84 bypass through Livermore has been the best thing that's happened to that drive.
Going out to Brentwood from the 680/580 interchange has never been a problem. Going home through 580/680 is always a nightmare. Traffic backing up beyond Hopyard Road is standard and I'm usually driving on the weekend. What really drives me insane is the constant cutting in and out from drivers trying to get off at the last minute and drivers forcing their way through the line waiting to exit to get on the freeway.
Taking 84 may add a few minutes to your trip when traffic is light. You will certainly save more time when the exit line is really backed up.
Time saved is not as important to me as is the reduction in my stress level from not having to deal with all the idiots on 580. It's almost a pleasant drive home now. You may have to spend some time at the red lights along the way, but you'll escape being cut off by every other car on the road.
A Thomas' sentiments reflect those of dozens of others who say Highway 84 is a great alternate to 580 or 680, but you might want to ease off the gas pedal. Read on.
Q It's worth reminding readers that the police very actively monitor speed along Highway 84, especially as the limit goes from 55 to 50 mph on the long downhill stretch going north just before Vallecitos Road. Very frequent enforcement there, and they catch lots of people who don't sufficiently limit their downhill speed.
A And ...
Q I use Highway 84 all the time. It's a good alternate -- and a major speed trap north once you hit the downhill part by Ruby Hill.
A And here is a road tip from the other side of the bay.
Q Some time back you offered great tips on how to get from the South Bay through San Francisco and across the Golden Gate Bridge without traveling up dreaded 19th Avenue. Well, guess where we are headed for Thanksgiving? To the Santa Rosa area. Please share those tips again.
A I sure can. We used to take some of these roads when Matt-the-Roadshow-Son ran cross-country meets in Golden Gate Park during high school (go Bells!).
Q My route through the City avoids the 19th Avenue crawl and crazy people running lights. It may not be quicker, but is certainly more lovely and relaxing.
Take 280 north to Skyline just after Millbrae. Stay on Skyline, left turn to Ocean Beach/Zoo. Follow the Great Highway and enjoy the ocean scenery. If you stay at 35 mph you can hit every green light.
Wander up past the Cliff House, where the road changes to Point Lobos. Turn left at the light, then immediate right onto Seal Rock, which changes its name to Clement. Left turn at 34th, which takes you through the golf course and past the Palace of the Legion Of Honor Museum.
View Alternative routes in a larger map
Follow Camino Del Mar through Seacliff. Then it becomes Lincoln at the Presidio, with spectacular ocean views. You will go under the approach to the bridge, left onto the ramp.
I did this every Saturday for three years. Once we had to use two cars, so one went via 19th and I went along the ocean. We arrived within 2 minutes at the house. Each trip had flowers to look at, lovely homes to covet and magnificent scenery, changing with the weather. Yes, there are many stoplights, but not as many as on 19th.
A Here is another reason to avoid 19th Avenue. There are no plans to repave that bumpy road anytime soon.
Q About dumb traffic tickets: I once got a ticket for parking on my own front lawn. Now this I think was total bull.
I've seen a lot of cars parked on people's front lawns. Still gripes me to this day. I paid the ticket so I wouldn't have an outstanding warrant and gave a written reason as to why.
It came back as "insufficient reason." The reason was I was cleaning out my parents' house with my brother and it made loading easier with the car in proximity to the house. My brother and I were gone moving stuff from point A to point B at the time. Totally dumb. You can't convince me otherwise.
A On the other hand, Mike says he got a parking ticket in San Francisco, but when he explained he wasn't there on the date in question, the ticket was voided and he got a refund.