Q A few weeks ago, reader Mark Rice wrote that "Verschlimmbesserung means an attempted improvement that makes things worse than they already were" and that road verschlimmbesserung was a phrase ready to be used to describe some road improvements that haven't panned out. I have one.
A Just one?
Q No carpool entrance for people in Milpitas to get immediately to the FasTrak lane to west Highway 237, which used to start back at South Abbott Street in Milpitas well east of 880. Who decided this was an improvement?
A The VTA and overall traffic delays at 237-880 have eased slightly -- except for those in Milpitas.
Q I'd vote for the changes at 101-880, where traffic grinds to a halt as early as 1:30 p.m. after the ramp realignment.
Phil White and many more
A Roads around 880 fill the verschlimmbesserung file.
Q My vote for "improvement" that made things worse is the addition of the fourth lane on I-880 from 101 to 237. Made 880 north of 237 much worse from the day it opened. On the plus side, the Mission Boulevard exit doesn't back up as much as it used to since people can't get there as fast while they are stuck in traffic on 880.
A Hey, that's a .500 average. Hall of Fame credentials.
Q I suggest a verschlimmbesserung in Oakland on 35th Avenue. It was very nicely paved a year or so ago. But from Harper Street to I-580 we have a severe case of verschlimmbesserung! The potholes have been so poorly repaired that the jolting is worse than ever! This is very schlimm!
Sister Christopher Miller
A A nun would never exaggerate.
Q Can I add this boondoggle to your Verschlimmbesserung possibilities? How about that ridiculous idea of removing traffic lanes and adding bike lanes on Hedding Street in San Jose?
A San Jose says say bike ridership is steadily increasing at Hedding. Complaints to Roadshow have almost disappeared.
Q There is a 1 ½-mile diamond lane on Central Expressway between San Tomas/Montague and De La Cruz Boulevard. I think a 1 ½-mile diamond lane is stupid and solo drivers are closer to 50 percent than 10 percent because there is zero enforcement.
A And ...
Q The absolute worst "Schlimmer" would be anyone trying to text "Verschlimmbesserung" anytime and anyplace. Gary, I'll bet that you cannot even pronounce it correctly while merging from south 101 to north 880!
A You have that right.