Q Caltrain's northbound trains are slowing down as they go into San Francisco. Something about a bridge being undermined. This is making trains typically three to five minutes late arriving in San Francisco. Lots of MUNI connections are tight, so lots of folks are missing their most preferred buses, which sets their day back 10 to 20 minutes. How long will this slowdown go on?
A At least through the end of the month. During a recent inspection of the Quint Street bridge -- built in 1907 -- engineers found new deteriorating conditions. As a result, during peak commute hours trains are slowing from 30 to 10 mph to minimize strain on the bridge. They are also single-tracking on the south side during off-peak hours.
Next year, Quint Street will be permanently closed to build an earth berm and remove the bridge.
Q I took Caltrain to the Giants home opener last month. Why is it that some train cars do not have air conditioning? This is not the first time this issue has arisen.
A The Giants are hot and so are some fans. All of Caltrain's passenger cars have air conditioning, but sometimes the equipment does not work as it should. Part of the problem is age. Of its 118 passenger cars, 73, or 60 percent, were purchased 30 years ago.
In addition, Caltrain can't idle the cars because of noise impacts and has to shut them down when not in service. Then temperatures will rise just like in a parked car and it can take quite a bit of time to cool them down on a hot day.
Q Traffic in the area of Embarcadero Road and El Camino Real in Palo Alto is horrendous! Paly High School on one side and Town and Country Village on the other make for gridlock.
Can they at least make the right-hand lane from Embarcadero to El Camino for right turns only? I wrote to you about this four years ago and you responded, "I'll look into this." Are you still looking?
A You doubt me? Several things will be happening on Embarcadero between the Caltrain overpass and El Camino, and your right-turn-only lane could be one of them.
Whereas there are now three traffic signals along a short stretch of Embarcadero -- at the driveway to Town and Country and Palo Alto High and a pedestrian crossing just down the road, they will be consolidated into one. Work could begin this fall.
In addition, next year Caltrans and the city will consider widening Embarcadero to the south to accommodate a double westbound left turn from Embarcadero onto south El Camino heading toward Page Mill Road, as well as your request.
Q If you take the Highway 101 north exit from south Interstate 880, it puts you at a stop sign on Old Bayshore. There needs to be a sign that directs folks to turn right to get to 101 north. There's a one in three chance that drivers will get it right. If they turn left or go straight, they are off into the hinterlands of a light industrial area. Any chance of a sign going up where 880 meets Bayshore?
A Your sign is on order.