Q We drove through the Prunedale area a few days ago on Highway 101. They are really doing lots of work there. Hopefully it will save lives and make traffic much better.
A That's the idea. This is a decades-long, $209 million safety improvement project in Monterey County. Workers have built new interchanges at Blackie/Reese and Crazy Horse Canyon/Echo Valley roads and an undercrossing at Russell and Espinosa roads.
The final project will include a median barrier to remove nearly all left turns through this eight-mile corridor north of Salinas. A new interchange called Sala Road will open north of Salinas. At the northern county line is a second project, the interchange at the Highway 101 and the Red Barn at San Juan Road. It could open by the end of this year.
Q Gary, I gotta tell you what happened to me the other day as I was cruising down Central Expressway when I came across a ripper rear-ender. They were blocking the entrance, so I pulled behind them to block traffic and keep them safe while I checked to see if they were injured.
While checking on the people, we were all startled to hear skidding tires -- then BLAM! My truck shudders and I am showered with glass.
I run around to see what happened, and there is a Honda, backwards, into the driver's side of my truck. Plowed the whole side of my tow truck. She was OK, but her car was destroyed.
The amazing thing is she never lost the grip on her cellphone. She still had her fingers wrapped around that stupid phone, and it was firmly pressed against her ear. She couldn't be distracted from her conversation long enough to tell me she was OK when I asked.
If my truck had not been there, she might killed the two others involved in the first crash. She didn't see traffic was stopped until too late.
Gary, could you re-emphasize: People, hang up your (bleeping) phones!
A "Bleeping" is not actually the word Ray used.
Q In driving around the Bay Area I have noticed cement mosaic designs on the sound walls of the freeways. The 101 has flowers and cranes and adds beauty to the area. The grapevine design in Livermore's Highway 84 depicts the richness of the area in wine vineyards. The sound wall at Kato Road off Mission Boulevard in Fremont has a nice block design.
Then we have Mission at Warm Springs, the 680/880 underpass that looks like corrugated metal siding design waiting for graffiti artists to do their work. Do we really want this eyesore entering and exiting Fremont and Silicon Valley? Will Warren Avenue have the same eyesore design? My wife says she feels like she is in prison when we drive through this area.
Please, tell me it's not so.
A Mission has what Caltrans calls a "fractured fin" finish on the wall, which it considers the standard for a textured finish. The state says this ribbed finish actually helps deter graffiti artists by not providing a smooth canvas. The sound wall at Warren will match the design at Kato.