Q Mr. Roadshow, I'm an older fuddy who dearly enjoys your take on driving, road courtesy and unusual situations.
A I trust you have one for me.
Q A recent campaign against radio road noise (horns, etc.) brings to mind the legendary Don Sherwood back in the 1960s. He was the drive-time host for
KGO KSFO back then (ably assisted by the youthful Carter B. Smith).
They had a cute trick which they pulled at least weekly. Highway 101 in those days was a fairly new four-lane road (stoplights and all) known as the Bayshore Bypass for El Camino Real. As such,
Around 8 a.m. Sherwood or Carter B. would instruct all their commute listeners to roll down their windows and turn up their radios. Upon doing this, they would crank out the loudest siren ever heard, and there would be panic among half the drivers (who weren't in on the joke) AND HYSTERICAL LAUGHTER (thumbs up, etc.) among drivers who had their radio on. Since the early Bayshore had no left side shoulder (just a double white line) there was nowhere for those in the inside lane to go. Watching them scramble, looking for the source, and attempting to move right gave our
Thanks for allowing me to wander through old memories.
A Thanks for getting me to laugh. Now to another unusual situation that was not funny.
Q I have a rant directed at the driver of a cream-colored sedan that drove around me while I was in the diamond lane last Tuesday afternoon at 3:30 on Highway 85. The freeway was crowded; I had just entered the diamond lane when this moron decided he didn't want me there and drove around me on the left shoulder, nearly taking out the side of my car in the process.
He had a passenger in his car; I had two high schoolers in mine. This idiot didn't even stop to consider that he was putting five people at risk of serious injury or death. What a total moron. I have other better words to describe him, but families read your column so I'll restrain myself. Who can I contact if this kind of thing happens again?
A If you were able to get a license plate number, give the CHP a call at 800-TELL-CHP with as much information as possible. There's a chance this aggressive driver uses this freeway frequently, and if the CHP is aware of that, they will keep an eye out.
Q I'm with Nancy Billings, the reader who said she liked talking to the toll collectors on the Golden Gate Bridge. Not only did I enjoy saying "Hi" to them, I always paid the toll for the car behind me. I don't cross bridges very often, but ever since I started driving 35 years ago, I have always paid for the car behind me. I'll miss that. I guess I'll just have to pay it forward more often at a drive-through or a Starbucks.
A I can't tell you how many times over the 22 years of Roadshow I have heard from drivers who either have paid the toll of the motorist behind them or found out that the driver ahead of them paid their bridge fee. An act of kindness that I'm certain delighted many and can still be done on other bridges where toll takers remain, although $5 a crossing makes it far less likely than when tolls were just a buck.
Q My girlfriends and I are heading south over Presidents Day weekend. Will Caltrans be working (as it seems to be endlessly) on Interstate 5 outside L.A.?
A Major roadwork is usually suspended over holiday weekends, but here's what you can do to monitor construction that could be occurring: