Q A question for Mr. Caltrans. What appears to be new concrete medians between Vasco Road and Greenville Road on Interstate 580 are being demolished. Was there something wrong with them? ... Is this a Caltrans mistake, a contractor issue or poor planning? ... Could it be that more of my gas-tax dollars are being wasted?
Steve Spafford, Bob Vincent and Dave Donovan
A Traffic officials say updated state safety standards require new barriers to improve lighting and some barriers must be removed to build the foundation and utility connection.
A series of projects are underway along I-580 and include the construction of carpool lanes, express lanes, auxiliary lanes and additional lighting. Each project is implemented in succession (i.e. the carpool lanes must be constructed before they can be converted to the express lanes, which require extensive overhead signs and traffic readers).
Q I enjoy reading your column and appreciate your sound advice. Oh, and by the way, I am NOT a road boulder and find them very annoying.
A Mrs. Roadshow likes your attitude.
Q Anyway, I have a question. While driving through a construction zone on I-580 near Livermore, I encountered a lot of gravel on the road, which was kicked up by nearby cars and resulted in several dents to my car. I am going through my insurance company to have the damage repaired, but feel like Caltrans should pay the $500 deductible I will have to shell out. Is there any precedent for filing a claim against Caltrans to get them to reimburse me for my deductible? I am guessing the answer is no, but thought I would ask the expert.
A You can try; some claims are upheld. Go to www.dot.ca.gov/damageClaimsFAQ.htm and keep me posted if you get your $500 back.
Q Do you know where complaints should be sent regarding automobile commercials that stress speed and recklessness? Certainly the ads that show spinning, weaving and speeding cars must be promoting the buyers of their cars to drive that way. My husband and I are sickened by such irresponsibility.
A Call the car company, or fast forward through the ads.
Q I commute over Highway 84 between Livermore and San Jose and traverse the pass that's about 200 feet higher than the Sunol Grade, but it doesn't so far as I know actually have a name. I've come to call it the Vallecitos Grade and have emailed Caltrans and checked Wikipedia to see if the grade has a formal name, but I've learned nothing. If the pass does not have a name, might I suggest the Vallecitos Grade?
A You may not. My traffic guys call it Pigeon Pass.