Q She is beautiful and pristine. She taunts us with her come-hither attitude. And yet she is off-limits, blocked by a few pylonic guards. She is of course the new carpool lane on southbound Highway 101 in Palo Alto and Mountain View. When, oh when, will they open it up?
A Maybe by the end of this week. The northbound lanes opened last week, so your construction nightmare of nearly three years is almost at end.
Q I am incensed! After trudging through what seems like two years of construction on Highway 101 through Mountain View and Palo Alto, anxiously awaiting the addition of another lane, I come back from vacation to find out that the new lane they have been building is an additional carpool lane! Indeed, carpool lane traffic can be heavy, what with the Google and Yahoo buses (which I am in favor of, incidentally), but that single carpool lane was never slowed to grinding halt like the main lanes are each and every morning and afternoon. Why would they add another unneeded carpool lane when what is needed is another regular lane?
A Because they are looking years down the road and believe double carpool lanes will ease merging difficulties at 85-101. It was either a second carpool lane or raising the carpool minimum to three or more people.
This stretch is just for 3 miles, but the ultimate goal is to have a double carpool lane on 101 from South San Jose to Redwood City in several more years. Caltrans did add auxiliary lanes between Highway 85 in Mountain View and Embarcadero Road in Palo Alto.
Q Since Caltrans opened the 101 north carpool lanes last week, I am a little confused by the signage at the end of the lane. The merging signs depicts a merge from right to left; however, Caltrans has arrows in the left lane merging right. Isn't this in contradiction to each other? When I saw the sign, I was expecting the lane to the right of me to merge; however, as the lane ended, the left lane merged with the right.
A The sign is wrong. Caltrans will cover the existing sign and order a new one that clarifies the left-hand lane ends and that drivers must merge right.
Q I was on north from 85 to Rengstorff and it was so nice to have the lane marking painted on the road, so you know where to go. I especially enjoyed having the Amphitheater and Rengstorff sharing the same lane. It made it so much easier exiting at Rengstorff, as one has to slow way down to take the curve on the exit. Hope the commuters like the job that was done.
A And ...
Q Hurray -- Highway 101 north between 85 and University Avenue is finally re-striped with all lanes open. But there is still tape covering up the words "Exit Only" on the Embarcadero exit. Did Caltrans forget to remove it?
A No. Some ramp work remains.