Q I recently got back from San Diego to Oakland on Interstate 5, and I can't count the number of times I had to disengage my cruise control to slow down as one truck passed another. It got me to thinking that millions of gallons of gas would be saved if there were either three lanes in each direction or passing lanes every few miles through the Central Valley.

There is plenty of room to add a third lane, and it may have been contemplated at one time. Your take on the matter?

Jeff Franzen

Oakland

A Widening I-5 should be one of the state's top priorities, considering the amount of truck traffic and the fact that it's California's main north-south route. Caltrans is widening I-5 in the Stockton area to four lanes in each direction and that could be done in two years. But nothing is planned for many years south of there, so forget the cruise control.

Highway 99 is bring improved, but not I-5.

Meanwhile, here's a warning about I-5 south of Kern County and into L.A., where the four-lane freeway is down to three lanes each way in several spots.

Q Have you already heard about the road bypass lane on I-5 at the Grapevine? We were returning home from Palm Desert when we encountered a big problem. Caltrans was doing construction and made a road bypass out of the fast lane. As we approached the area, there were signs saying, "Don't change lanes, stay in your lane."

I wish we had moved out of the fast lane. All of the cars driving in the fast lane had to enter this bypass lane, where we crawled along stop-and-go at 10 mph while we watched cars in the two regular lanes speed by us. This went on for miles. There was no way to get out of this bypass once you were in it.

Finally we merged back with the two other lanes but a little further down the freeway there was another bypass. As soon as I saw the signs I immediately changed lanes, as did most other cars that had been stuck in the first bypass.

I just want readers to be aware of this situation so that the same thing doesn't happen to them.

Rosemary Siegfried, Jorge Rivera and many more

A The so-called bypass lanes are temporary. Caltrans has a couple of major paving projects underway on I-5 and wants to keep three lanes available in each direction. To do so means taking one southbound lane and converting it into a northbound lane, and vice versa. One project is on a 15-mile stretch of the Golden State Freeway between Vista Del Lago Road and the Kern County line through November. More work will last for two years in Los Angeles County.

Q Northbound Shoreline Boulevard has been turned into a gridlocked quagmire by the proletarians making their morning march to Google Archipelago. Would the benevolent Google be willing to focus some energy on developing a traffic solution using existing infrastructure that would provide salvation to us all?

Eric Windes

Mountain View

A A bunch of ideas are being considered, most aimed at reducing the number of vehicles jamming up this area. The city just re-timed signals and will install a more advanced signal coordination plan in two to three years. This would include improving the timing of the lights at the Shoreline Boulevard/Highway 101 interchange.

Then after Labor Day the city will repave sections of Shoreline.

But the big effort is a few years away and will be aimed at coaxing solo drivers out of their cars. The city and various companies will be promoting shuttles, transit, ride-sharing and bicycling from the downtown transit center used by buses, light rail and Caltrain. This will include a dedicated corridor for shuttles and bicyclists. Until then, Google on.

Q What is going on with the exit at Bascom Avenue and I-880? It gets to be joke with some co-workers who get on at Bascom to keep score of how many signs are knocked down each day.

They should fill that small area with sand so when folks miss the curve they drive into sand and stop, rather than across oncoming traffic entering the highway and into a fence and sometimes the yard of the people who live there.

Ronda Brigham

San Jose

A A badly needed concrete barrier is coming to all the Bascom ramps to prevent cross-median crashes. Construction could begin next fall.

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