Q Boy, was that too close.
A What? Where?
Q The merge at Interstate 280, Highway 85 and Foothill Expressway. It almost got five-plus victims recently, with too many cars needing to be in the same spot at the same time.
Two lanes from north 85 plus one lane from south 85 join around a blind bend. Then they all try to get into one lane, which is both the onramp to 280 and the offramp from 280. When will they fix this dangerous layout?
A And ...
Q I've seen three accidents in several days at the Foothill-280 mess. They don't even have flashing lights or signs coming off 280 warning of a crosswalk ahead. Are they EVER going to do something about this area?
Los Altos Hills
A The news is mixed. Plans have been put on hold to realign the ramps and ease this dangerous merge until dwindling highway money can be budgeted. But Caltrans' traffic safety team is going to assess the crosswalk issue and recommend changes. More later.
Q What can be done about parents of small, young children (approximately 6, 4 or 5, and 1 or 2) who consistently drive them around while not strapped into the car or booster seats? I know it's illegal and dangerous, but if I mention it to my neighbor, I will get an earful.
Thanks for any suggestions, as I'm annoyed by the danger and recklessness of this mother's actions.
A First, I would explain your concerns to your neighbors. If they get mad, so be it. Or call police and maybe they'll send an officer out to explain the risks.
Roadshow readers, what would you do?
Q Gary, do you know when Caltrain will have Wi-Fi? I think they had a short-term experiment a few years ago, but it was not extended.
A They've been debating this since 2006. The primary obstacle is cost. Caltrain says it needs nearly $11 million a year to pay for Wi-Fi, perhaps from sponsors.
Hmm. Apple, Google, Facebook -- can you help out?
Q Although I live in Maryland, I was reading your column on carpool lane entertainment and dummies in carpool lanes. Back in 1968-72 my mom used to drive us from San Lorenzo in the East Bay to Grandpa's house in Santa Cruz. We heard a rumor there was a CHP car with a dummy in the driver's seat to slow cars down. As a kid that was fascinating, but not believable.
Then one day we slowly passed a turnout and saw a black and white CHP car. We pulled over and sure as heck, there was a mannequin kind of dummy sitting in the driver's seat.
So, I've wondered all these years if anyone else in the entire San Jose region ever saw this besides me.
A Oh, yes, of that I am certain.