Q I have a much, much, much better route for Paul Waneless to use to bypass bad traffic on north Interstate 680. Take Route 84 to Livermore, which takes you to 580. Go about five miles on 580 to Vasco Road and into Antioch. He will cut about 10 miles from his travel time, and it is a much easier commute. Traffic can be fairly heavy during commute hours, but it usually moves fairly well.
This route has a caveat, though. Even a minor accident on Vasco can really snarl things up.
A Paul also suggested Buchanan Road as an alternate to Highway 4, but ...
Q As an alternative to the wonderful sightseeing excursions on Highway 4, a reader recommended taking Buchanan Road. Poor choice. Looks good on a map, but the signals are timed to discourage commuter use. It's even posted to this effect. Leland Road or the Old Pittsburg-Antioch Highway would be better choices. They're not much faster, but you at least get the sensation of movement.
Steve Brown Sr.
A The sensation of movement can be so wonderful.
Q I would like to respond to an issue that has been long overdue for local east Concordians as well as local Claytonites. We wish more than anyone that the Highway 4 construction would end and the traffic messes from 680 to Antioch be relieved.
Why? Because we live in the area and must put up with everyone who drives though our streets to avoid the Highway 4 congestion.
Unfortunately, this has caused a normally serene, lowly populated area into a commuting mess. I understand there is nothing I can do to make non-locals avoid using this shortcut. However, I do ask for consideration of other drivers when barreling down Ygnacio/Kirker Pass to their home by the Delta.
ConcordA Hang tough for a couple more years. The Highway 4 widening from Loveridge Road to Highway 160 could be done by mid-2015, but the interchanges at Loveridge Road and Somersville Road might be finished early next year. Keeping 130,000 vehicles a day moving through the construction sites is a huge challenge.
Q The BART station in Fremont has constant parking problems, and it occurred to me that since everyone further south of Fremont has to drive there to catch BART, won't the parking situation ease as stations open in Milpitas and San Jose? Wouldn't people who now drive to Fremont instead flock to those locations for BART?
And what is the timeline for BART coming to San Jose?
A Parking -- for a time -- should ease after the BART extension to San Jose opens around 2017 or 2018. First, the new Warm Springs station in South Fremont is due to open in two years. It will include 2,000 parking spaces.
There will be 1,200 parking spaces at both the Milpitas and Berryessa stations, nearly double the need for when they open and enough to serve parking needs through at least 2025. The Valley Transportation Authority expects one of every three riders to drive to trains at those stations.
Parking fees will be charged, and on Monday and Tuesday the VTA will be surveying BART riders at the Fremont and West Dublin stations on what kind of fare collection system it should use at the South Bay locations.
Q I'm hoping you can clarify for me the law with regards to changing lanes during non-carpool hours. My friend thinks that it's legal to cross the double white lines when outside of carpool hours, but I believe that it's always illegal to cross double white lines no matter what time it is. Who is right?
A You are. Crossing double white lines is a no-no 24/7.
Q Once again, the light at Highway 92 and Skyline Boulevard near the reservoir in unincorporated San Mateo County was somehow reset and blinking red all morning, causing an enormous backup for no apparent good reason. This happens three to four times year, during good and bad weather.
Why does this happen? It almost seems like it is an intermittent power issue; power goes out, comes back on, and blinks until someone manually resets it.
We love living on the coast and understand things happen. But this is making us weary.
Half Moon Bay
A Caltrans checked out the light and could not determine why it was flashing red. But there is a panel nearby that can be opened to make it flash on red. Caltrans says it's possible police may have used it to help with traffic control and forgot to turn it back to a regular flash. Crews replaced some equipment and will monitor the signal.
Q I know that construction on Interstate 880 at Brokaw Road is going to be complete this summer, but is there a way that they can warn drivers when they will be changing lanes around?
Last week I was doing my usual drive to Oakland and when I had passed 101 suddenly I was being rained on by rocks. I was hit by these rocks for the whole stretch from 101 to 237. Not only did it get a bit congested as people slowed down, I also got a few more chips on my windshield despite leaving a lot of space between cars around me.
As soon as I finished driving past 237, my car started making a high-pitched noise. I made it to Oakland and back home that night. It turns out one of those rocks got up through my wheel and was banging around in the rotor. They pulled it out and my car got the OK to drive again.
Next time, I think they should employ a better street sweeping program to clean all those rocks up, as well as put up some sort of temporary sign to warn that lanes will be changed so that I can avoid 880 and go to 680 for the first few days of rock throwing.
A Your plea has been forwarded. But be warned as crews will begin grinding and paving the area beginning April 1. The temporary lanes here are starting to deteriorate at a rapid rate and the asphalt started breaking down much faster than expected.
Caltrans is sweeping the road daily and signs indicating uneven pavement ahead, slow down, changing lanes ahead, etc., are in place. The current traffic switch will last about two months, and the paving should be done by late June or July.
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