Q When I want to go to the city on BART during the week, I reserve a parking spot online for one day. I think last time it was $4.60. It works in Lafayette. I have to be there before 10 a.m., and it works out great. I didn't know about it until my daughter told me. Maybe it works in other stations and you could let your readers know.
A BART does indeed offer single-day reserved parking at many stations if you arrive before 10 a.m. The cost varies by station, and you can make a reservation as late as just before you need to use it. Go to www.bart.gov/guide/parking/index.aspx.
When you use the online reservation system you may purchase a maximum of 10 single-day permits. After 10 a.m., these reserved areas open to the public and space cannot be guaranteed.
Q I read your column about parking at Stoneridge Mall, which Ann Dalton attempted when the BART garage was full. She was lucky a security cop saw her and warned her. I parked there, way out at the edge of the lot, last year to take BART to see the Blue Angels in San Francisco. When I returned, after dark, I found out my car had been towed.
After trying to find a friend to pick me up and go to the tow lot, the guy said that there are cameras on the buildings at Stoneridge and they will automatically tow anyone seen going to the BART station. It cost me almost $400 to get my car back. There are signs posted somewhere in the mall that say you can't park there for BART and your car will be towed, but I never saw them. It is a shame that people try to use public transit and aren't able to because the BART lots are full.
A Hmm. If Ann Dalton reads this, I bet she now feels lucky.
Q A year or more after completion of the Contra Costa Centre Transit Village at the Pleasant Hill BART station, two prime surface parking lots immediately adjacent to the station are still fenced off, cluttered with weeds, debris and a lot of construction trailers and equipment. Why is this taxpayer-owned property not back in service for BART patrons and generating parking revenue?
A It's not clear when these lots will reopen.
Development of the area east of the station and adjacent to the plaza has been delayed while the joint powers authority responsible for the project is restructured. Before, it involved the Contra County Redevelopment Agency, which was eliminated by the state. This could take several months.
The parcel on the west side is being used as an area to store equipment BART uses in its earthquake safety program and other projects in that part of the system.
Q For the past five years we have lived near one of the worst intersections in Sunnyvale -- Ayala Drive. In the morning, I need to make a left turn onto South Bernardo Avenue. This is a scary proposition, since cars are speeding up and down Bernardo, and trying to either turn from the other direction on Ayala or come straight across. During school hours, there are also kids crossing. They have a crosswalk and crossing guards, but it's still quite scary.
Can a four-way stop help? Or possibly a traffic light?
A The city will study this intersection next month to determine whether it meets the requirements for installing a signal or four-way stop sign. The intersection was last studied in 2006 and it did not meet the standards, but this new effort will determine whether conditions have changed. The results should be known this spring.
Q Are there any plans to improve Commercial Street in San Jose between Berryessa, Oakland Road and I-880?
A Yes, as part of development of the San Jose Flea Market. Commercial will be reconfigured to accommodate two northbound lanes and one southbound lane between Berryessa and Oakland roads. This will make it easier to get to the Oakland/101 interchange.
In addition, the city is working on upgrading Oakland/101 and building the Mabury/101 bridge. These projects will be funded by development fees, and construction depends on when development occurs.
Q I have emailed you twice already about the carpool light on Coleman Avenue to south I-880 at the Mineta airport. The other day my wife and I drove into that carpool lane and I spotted a car at the end of the lane waiting for the light to change. I pulled up and stopped before the diamond painted on the lane and waited and waited and waited before pulling onto the diamond and triggering the light so the poor fellow could get through.
So what happens as I wait on the diamond? Nothing. The light stays red and I waited a bit before I had to back up to trigger the light, which changed to green and then back to red so fast that I ran the red.
I won't bother you again with this problem, as I guess the powers that are don't seem to care much about it. Backing up in the traffic at night is not cool.
A Not, it's not. I took a spin out there and saw the problem, but there is a solution. At onramps with carpool lanes, pull up to the limit line or stop bar and not the diamond to get the meter to switch. Your latest plea has prompted Caltrans to check out the wiring to make certain there are no other issues that might have delayed the first driver.
Q Back in the '90s, the Taylor Street bridge over 101 was expanded in San Jose, but not the roads going up on either side. This makes it rather tight for cyclists when cars are passing by. Will they widen this?
A In the short run, no. In the long run, the city is working on building ramps to 101 from Taylor/Mabury, but they need $50 million to get there. City officials hope to have something underway around the 2016-17 time frame, so it can open within a couple of years of the BART station opening.
Q I believe that the cameras you referred to at Crow Canyon Road and Crow Canyon Place in San Ramon are part of the traffic detection system and not red-light cameras, as a reader said. The city went to video-based traffic light control on Crow Canyon and Bollinger Canyon roads a couple of years ago.
A You are correct. City officials say San Ramon doesn't have any red-light cameras. The ones you see are used exclusively for signal coordination and are not used at all by police to catch red-light runners.