Q What did Caltrans do with the metering lights last week that turned Highway 87 into a parking lot? They've been off for a while, but this was awful.

I've been driving this route since the highway opened many years ago and this was the worst traffic ever! I got off at Charcot and I really felt sorry for people going to Highway 101, as it had to be an hour ride just between 280 and 101. This normally on a bad day is 15 minutes.

Not a fan of metering lights. See no benefit whatsoever now.

Lindsay Geier

A As I so often say, misery usually has plenty of company.

Q Why is there a metering light at 87 onto 101? I have lived here for a few months and have gotten used to a fantastic (relatively speaking) 30-minute commute from Curtner to Rengstorff. Tuesday morning, however, gave me constant standstill traffic on 87 and a 90-minute drive. That's insanity. Can you explain why this would make any sense at all? It completely boggles my mind.

Alicia Sell

San Jose

A And ...


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Q Is anyone evaluating whether the metering lights at 87 to 101 actually help traffic flow? A few weeks ago, the lights went off for whatever reason and stayed off. The result: Pretty much every day traffic on 87 north of downtown San Jose was moving at a good pace with no backup on 87, cars exiting to Charcot or Trimble not getting blocked and 101 north, well, bumper-to-bumper, but no worse than normal.

But last week I carpooled and got onto 87 at Almaden Expressway and traffic was bumper-to-bumper all the way to 101. It sure seems turning on those metering lights made traffic worse on 87 without helping 101 in any way.

C.C.

San Jose

A Take a deeeeep breath. The meters at the 87 ramp to 101 went dark after thieves tore out the wiring before Memorial Day. Since then, I've fielded persistent complaints from drivers on 101 who said their commutes turned nastier than usual when cars poured off 87 and onto 101 without having to stop for a red light.

Alan-the-Caltrans-Metering-Man said his crew is monitoring these locations, "but we should also give this location a few days to settle down." He says, "It will be interesting to hear from commuters on north 101 south of 87 if they noticed any difference with the meters reactivated."

Here is one -- Glenn Carley, who a few weeks ago wrote:

"I travel on 101 every morning and normally look forward to a much easier commute this time of year. With the 87-101 metering lights out, I now still suffer midwinter (school's-in) commute times."

Then this past week he reported after the meters went back on: "101 north in the two miles before 87 is now very slow but moving again. Highway 87 is backed up on and around the approach to 101. I guess things are back to normal, to the disappointment of my 87 commuter colleagues."

Disappointment indeed.

Q When are the barriers along 101 at San Antonio Road going to be removed? I got lost there in the dark at Christmas, and the exit is still just as narrow and ill-marked as it was then.

Ruth Troetschler

Los Altos

A Next week, Caltrans will move the K-rails and shift traffic to the shoulder so crews can work in the median. It'll be this way until late fall.

Q The comment about the motorcyclist getting hit with windshield washer spray reminds me of when I was a wacky high school kid. I would turn the nozzle around on my old Volvo so it faced the sidewalk, and would drive around squirting unsuspecting folks sitting on bus stop benches. I'm sure they all thought it was just as funny as I did -- 16-year-old boys do crazy things.

Michael Baldwin

A Oh, I bet "funny" is not what they thought.

Look for Gary at Facebook.com/mr.roadshow or contact him at mrroadshow@mercurynews.com or 408-920-5335.