Q As I sit in the passenger seat on the northbound Highway 85 now just crossing Fremont Avenue at 9:17 a.m., I wonder why the carpool lane hours end at 9. Traffic on this section of 85 is still bad at that time and it continues to be bad as we transition to north 101. What would it take to extend the carpool hours until 10 a.m.? Who do I need to lobby?
A Everyone. Caltrans and regional and local officials would all be involved. This could very well happen when the carpool lanes on 85 are converted into express or toll lanes in a few years from South San Jose to Mountain View. The westbound toll lane at 237-880 is in effect until 10 a.m. and from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. on the southbound I-680 express lane through Fremont on weekdays. While solo drivers pay a fee, carpoolers and motorcyclists ride free of charge.
Q Loving the new traffic jam every morning through Morgan Hill on Highway 101. Wouldn't it be better to have both northbound and southbound carpool lanes extend south of Morgan Hill where 10 to 20 percent of the traffic leaves or enters the freeway instead of stopping and starting just north of the city?
Scott Lehmann, Tiffany Garcia and plenty more
A There are plans to extend the carpool lane on 101 past Gilroy, but no cash to do so. Stay tuned
Q I've been meaning to ask you this every time I drive under the Snell Avenue overpass on Highway 85. Why are there metal fences on Snell and Lean Avenue over 85 when none of the other overpasses have them?
A They were set up as barriers to keep people from looking down into nearby residences. Since they are on bridges, brick could not be used.
Q Would you tell me the dates of issues of license plates -- the black with gold, blue with gold, and the start of the present ones? We still see a lot of the older ones.
A Black-background/yellow lettering: 1963.
Blue-background/yellow lettering: 1970.
White-background/blue lettering: 1982.
Q I travel the frontage road at Tesla daily and find 50 percent of drivers fail to stop at some stop signs. While I wish I didn't have to take my life in my hands daily, I enjoy the time saved using this road instead of Interstate 880 to get to Central Fremont. What happens if there is a accident? Is the road going to be made public due to a new company campus?
A The frontage road between Tesla and I-880 (between Mission and Fremont boulevards) is actually a private street owned by Tesla with access for property owners north and south of the Tesla plant. It is not a public street so vehicles not bound for the Tesla facility to one of the properties north or south of Tesla are technically trespassing, although this is not enforced.
Because this is a private road, Fremont police do not patrol it so there is no control over who does or does not stop at a stop sign. If there is an accident police will respond just like they do if there is an accident in the parking lot of a shopping center.
The city is hoping to convert this to a public road to help handle the major developments planned around the upcoming Warm Springs/South Fremont BART station which will open in late 2015.