Q I have cars with a FasTrak account and toll tags. I got a new car with no license plates yet, and would like to use FasTrak lanes on the Bay Bridge. But I've seen CHP officers pulling cars over, especially on the Interstate 880 approach to the toll plaza, all without license plates.
I realize that if the transponder somehow doesn't beep (malfunction, cheating, etc.), there's no way to bill the driver. Does this mean that I should just use the cash lane (and sit in longer waits) until I have a license plate to match the transponder?
A I would, for it wouldn't be worth the hassle to get pulled over. But first:
Legislation could be pending in Sacramento that would require every vehicle sold to come with a temporary plate with an identifiable number and expiration date. Last year KTVU-TV (Ch. 2) reported there are an average of 10,000 drivers a year crossing bridges for free and getting away with it by using blank dealer plates often seen on newly purchased cars. Those cardboard plates typically display information on the dealership and do not have any number or identification linked to the vehicle's owner.
Q I read the letters about the "bone jarring" bumps on Interstate 280 by Foothill Expressway. There is another significant dip on I-280 which seems to be getting progressively worse. I actually feel my car shoot in the air "Dukes of Hazzard" style when I hit the dip traveling south past Highway 92 and before the vista point before the long stretch where 280 was resurfaced, in the passing lane. Can Caltrans repair this? ... There is a huge bump across the entire road going south off I-680 for the Calaveras Boulevard offramp in Milpitas. It feels like the wheels drop to the rims as you go bouncing across the road. ... I love the new Yerba Buena Road offramp off of 101 south in San Jose. Saves a lot of time not having to wait for all the traffic at the Capitol Expressway offramp. But why have I been driving over a two-inch bump in this new ramp for three-plus months?
Roy Gilbert, Dave Anderson and so many more
A Calls have gone out to Caltrans about these spots, while final paving at Yerba Buena looms soon.
Q The Washington Avenue exit off the north Highway 238 is the ugliest offramp in all of San Leandro. The weeds are easily 4 feet tall, were never cut down last summer and now we're into winter and so they continue to be a dry and ugly hazard. If Caltrans would clean up the debris and mow the weeds at exit 17A, it would be a huge improvement.
A Caltrans has this on its to-do list, with trimming to take place later this spring or summer.
Q The travel time sign on Interstate 880 south between Alvarado-Niles and Fremont has been reporting the exact same times for several weeks. It looks like the times are the estimates for when there's no traffic, which is obviously a little problematic when I'm trying to decide which route to take in the morning. Are there plans to get the times reliable again?
A There have been some software issues that should be resolved soon.