Q I was nearly involved in a multi-car pileup a couple hundred yards short of the southbound Interstate 880 and Highway 101 interchange last Friday at about noon due to a temporary closure of the freeway as the CHP escorted five Royal Coach Tours buses.

Steve Brunell

Fremont

A Whoa. There must have been some very important people onboard. And there were.

Q They were escorting the 49ers, who were on their way to the Coleman Avenue exit to the San Jose airport for their flight to the playoff game at Carolina.

This near-pileup involved three to four cars in front of me as well as two to three cars behind me alternatively swerving into the emergency shoulder in order to avoid hitting other cars due to this unexpected freeway stoppage. All five buses were traveling to the frontage road approaching the rear cargo terminal area of the airport on the way to meet their charter plane for departure.

Is this standard protocol, to stop traffic on a busy freeway, or was this just a special occasion for the playoffs? I also think that a helicopter hovering overhead was a bit over the top. This wasn't the president, for gosh sakes!

Go Niners!

Steve Rempel, Thomas Mayer and many more

A Traffic problems actually started a few weeks earlier.

Q There was a huge traffic backup at the 880 and 101 interchange when several buses carrying the 49ers to the San Jose airport for their game at Tampa Bay last month resulted in some of the freeway being closed. While I am a huge 49ers fan, was this necessary?

Bruce F.

A There is more here than you might think. Police escorts for football teams are common, both on the pro and college level. The Raiders, Stanford and Cal football teams have had escorts for themselves and opponents. Usually the team or school picks up the cost, as the 49ers do for their escorts.

The escorts are not just a special privilege for Jim Harbaugh, Colin Kaepernick, Patrick Willis and pals. Team buses are screened at the 49ers headquarters in Santa Clara before departing for their flight, and the team says the Transportation Security Administration requires escorts for security reasons to make sure baggage and players remain secured after that initial screening.

The 880-101 interchange is a mess every day. A 49ers spokesman said your complaints are the first they have received and promised to relay them to the CHP and team officials to see if changes can be made.

Q On the southern slope of the Tehachapis over the Grapevine above Santa Clarita is a stretch of Interstate 5 where the northbound lanes lie to the west of the southbound lanes, British style. There's got to be a story behind that to justify the construction of two eight-lane overpasses, and I'm curious as to what it is.

Bill Langlois

San Jose

A The incline through the pass requires a gentler climb than would be possible if the freeway went straight up the hill on the traditional side of the road. The grade is between 5 and 6 percent, which is more easily navigable for the hundreds of trucks that use that stretch.

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