Q I hope you can help me understand what's up with the lane closure near the westbound approach to the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge. I know there's some work happening with the Western Avenue area, but why does that require the left lane to be closed? It appears it's going to be closed for a while based on the re-striping that's been done. To a layman commuter, it appears there's nothing going on in that lane and I suspect it's just a matter of days before people begin using it as a lane, illegally.
This has added quite a bit of time to my daily commute to Marin.
A And ...
Q After years of enjoying a relatively benign commute from El Sobrante to San Rafael, I guess it's finally my turn to get jabbed by the pointy sticks of Bay Area traffic. Caltrans recently re-striped the westbound approach to the Richmond Bridge toll plaza, eliminating the left lane for about a half-mile, and making the 580/Richmond Parkway merge most unpleasant. I understand that this lane excision is in preparation for some much-needed work that's scheduled soon, but Caltrans' website is unclear on what the work actually entails and, more importantly, when it's scheduled to be completed. Do you have any insight into when I will be able to return to my life of carefree commuterdom?
A When the 49ers start playing again in September. Last week construction activities started for the I-580/Scofield Avenue/Western Drive Bridge replacement job, and westbound 580 lanes were reduced from three to two lanes so that workers can place concrete barriers and create a safe working zone as they prepare to shift traffic to the eastbound bridge in June.
After this shift, crews will demolish and rebuild the westbound bridge decks over Scofield and Western Drive, and the eastbound I-580 Western Drive onramp.
By kickoff time in September, you'll have your three lanes back.
Q I purchased a new 2012 Honda Civic CNG vehicle on Feb. 5. DMV rules stipulate you must wait for your permanent plates before applying for the white HOV stickers. My plates arrived on Feb. 26 and my application was mailed the following day.
As of this email, I am still without my stickers!
I finally got a hold of someone at the DMV on April 10 who said stickers go out in order of when received (postmark), and due to overwhelming demand, they were backlogged and working on applications received on Feb. 19!
This is nuts! Why can't I get something temporarily from the dealer to enjoy HOV access until the permanent ones are issued? My car is clearly marked CNG on the back.
A Temporary stickers won't be sent out, but the DMV says a surge in sticker requests has caused delays in getting them mailed to you. Normally, you should get your stickers within a couple of weeks. The state says the backlog should ease soon.
Q Hurray! Caltrans is finally starting work on the Highway 101/San Juan Road intersection in the Prunedale area. This was long overdue for a very dangerous left turn from San Juan onto 101 north. How long will this project take and is there a diagram that shows what they intend to do?
A The San Juan Road interchange is expected to be completed in two more years. And in a month or so they'll be closing off the left turn from 101 north onto Espinosa Road. This is a key safety feature and recently there was a fatality. Check the road work updates at the Roadshow page for more information.
Q In response to Elvin Andrews' letter about proper bridge name references, wanting you to refer to the Benicia Bridge as the Martinez-Richmond Bridge, would you please remind everyone that the official name of the San Mateo Bridge is the San Mateo-Hayward Bridge? Hayward people would also like some respect.
A So noted!
Q A while back I was in the left/U-turn lane on Branham Lane by the Robertsville post office. Our light had turned green for the U-turn. The guy in front of me hesitated a couple of seconds (fortunately) because a young girl yakking on a cellphone was coming toward us in the opposite through lane, when she veered to the right around the stopped cars, into the curb lane and gunned it through the red light. Never looked up from her conversation, never braked, nothing.
If the guy ahead of me had not hesitated they would have crashed in the intersection and involved several other cars waiting for the light. You wanted horror stories. That's surely one.
A Here's another.
Q And then there was the woman stopped next to me waiting to turn left from Leigh Avenue onto Blossom Hill Road who was not only talking on the cellphone held between head and shoulder, but was writing checks against the steering wheel. I think both of them inherited the moron gene.
A No argument from me.