Q I have heard that Apple and Google buses are picking up their employees at BART parking lots, filling them up with non-BART users. Maybe you could investigate and see why they are doing this. These lots are meant for BART customers and not for private companies to use for free. This practice should be stopped.
Sure they are taking cars off the road, but BART riders are paying the price -- or I should say those trying to use public transportation are paying the price for the Apple and Google "elite."
A This may change. BART says the phenomenon of private employers bypassing public transportation by using transit facilities as collection points for their private shuttles is relatively new. BART has just created a staff position to oversee all aspects of shuttle bus service and this will be among the issues that will be reviewed and could change in the near future.
In the past BART has allowed shuttles of various types to use its stations as meeting points. The Emery Go Round that connects MacArthur Station to Emeryville and the Broadway B that connects BART stations to Jack London Square in Oakland are two examples. Private employers such as Safeway also use shuttles to drive their employees to and from BART stations to make transit use more convenient. But those employees often ride BART and the transit agency has supported them as long as they don't negatively impact access to BART stations.
San Francisco recently ordered private companies that ferry workers to Silicon Valley to pay the city $1.5 million for use of its bus stops.
Q I was a passenger in a vehicle in the toll lane on south Interstate 680. Most of the way from Andrade to Durham the lead car averaged about 43 mph. Obviously he had NOBODY in front of him within sight.
When he got over 45 mph he would slam on the brakes to slow down again. There is no legal way to pass him during this stretch because of the double white lines.
Coming around the bend just before Durham he slammed his brakes again to reduce his speed to 32 mph. A CHP was stationed at this point with a speed gun to catch speeders. He just looked at the guy going 32 mph with a LONG LINE of cars behind him. I was certain the CHP would chase this driver (he could have caught the guy on foot) and possibly cite him. Instead he went back to his speed gun.
What can the CHP do in this situation, and what is their recommendation when stuck in a toll lane behind a driver intent on going at such speeds?
A It's hard to say why the CHP did not pull this road boulder over. The slowpoke could have been a newcomer to the express lane and may have been confused. But there was not much you could do to get around this fellow.
Your driver could have been ticketed if he had elected to cross the double solid white lines to pass him. The exit and entry transitional lanes were not designed or intended for passing. The only recourse might have been to flash your headlights at Mr. Slowpoke -- at the risk of triggering a road rage incident. Mr. Road Boulder, go with the flow of traffic. And Mark, remain calm.
Q I've just completed my first trip through the new light configuration at Rengstorff Avenue and Central Expressway in Mountain View, and I hope you can tell me this is going to be tweaked.
Heading north on Rengstorff toward Central, I took my normal position in the center lane, from which I turn left onto Central to reach my home. When I first pulled up, the lights were red and I was about five cars back, so I waited with everyone else.
However, to my amazement, only the center and right-lane lights turned green! The left-most lane onto Central stayed red. This meant that traffic backed up into the center lane and we were all stuck watching nobody move through a green light.
Please, please tell me that the left lane is going to get their green arrow at the same time and for the same duration as the center and right lanes! Otherwise this intersection is going to become not only impassable but accident-prone as well as drivers veer right to get around the center-lane backup.
Almost in tears.
A Check back in a few days. County engineers will be monitoring the recent changes and see what adjustments need to be made.
This intersection went through much-needed improvements, and northbound Rengstorff got an additional lane. This approach used to have three lanes, with the middle lane being both a left and a through lane. Now with four lanes, there are two left-turning lanes and two through lanes.
Signals needed to be changed to make this light operate more efficiently. Since this change just happened last weekend, it will take some time for people to get used to and line up in the correct lane.
Q When will the new lanes on Interstate 680 between Sycamore Valley Road and Crow Canyon Road be ready? They've been sitting there unopened for six months now.
A Late this year.