Q What is with this horrendous daily back-up at Highway 101 north to Willow Road east in Menlo Park?

Adam Bishop

San Carlos

A Oh, man. I could answer questions about traffic here every day. But tell me the latest.

Q Eastbound Willow fills up (usually stopped dead) and creates a mess in all northbound lanes of 101 anywhere from 3 p.m. on through the evening commute.

Is there construction on Willow? Are traffic lights at the end of the exit not timed correctly? Or is it just because of the demand of the Dumbarton Bridge due to the improving economy?

Adam Bishop

A Pure and simple, its more cars than WiIlow and nearby University Avenue can handle off Bayfront Expressway. A signalized intersection on average can move 1,500 vehicles per hour and once it approaches that figure its a sea of red lights. The tally here: more than 1,800 vehicles during the evening commute.

Said Rene-the-Menlo-Park-Traffic-Czar: "The issue is similar to trying to pump 5 gallons of gas per minute with a pump that can only deliver 3 gallons per minute. The increase is not just the result of the Facebook campus but rather an increase in overall volume using the Dumbarton Bridge."


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Facebook will pay for a project to increase the number of northbound right turns at Willow from two to three. This may have incremental improvements. The solution: a bypass from the Dumbarton Bridge to 101 but that is many years away.

Q There are several construction projects going on that seem to be nearing completion. How can drivers get information about when these will finish? Interstate 880 through Oakland and Highway 101 in Mountain View come to mind.

Greg Austin

A There are several options. For state projects in the Bay Area, Google Caltrans projects. The 880 carpool widening will finish next year; the 101 widening in a few weeks.

You can also Google the Valley Transportation Agency for work on Santa Clara County roads and transportation agencies in Alameda, Contra Costa, San Mateo, and Santa Cruz counties.

Q Leigh Avenue runs for 8 miles through San Jose, except for a 2-block stretch south of Hamilton Avenue which is part of Campbell. You can almost count on Campbell police to have a speed trap set up in this stretch to catch speeders (99.9 percent of whom I would guess are San Jose residents)

Have San Jose officials ever complained to the Campbell PD about this blatant targeting of San Jose residents for speeding tickets? I know there are plenty of speeders in other parts of Campbell.

Mike Harmon

A No, and Mike-a-San-Jose-Traffic-Cop says here is a simple solution: don't make yourself a target by driving too fast anywhere: "I highly doubt Campbell PD cares much about where their customers reside. I've written thousands of tickets and can't recall even once feeling better about citing a violator because of where he or she lived."

Look for Gary Richards at Facebook.com/mr.roadshow, follow him at Twitter.com/mrroadshow or contact him at mrroadshow@mercurynews.com or 408-920-5335.