Q Traffic guru, I saw a white bike on Page Mill Road last week with flowers around it -- a memorial of sorts. And I was told that there was a white bike near Winchester/San Tomas Expressway and they thought it was a tribute to Father Mark Catalana. Since then I've seen another one. Is there a group memorializing people killed in cycling accidents?
A These are informal, community-based "Ghost Bike" acknowledgements of people who have died while biking. There's no formal organization. Usually, it's just a few people painting an old bike white and leaving it at an intersection where someone died. Go to http://ghostbikes.org/ for more.
The white bike at San Tomas and Winchester is likely in memory of Catalana, a Catholic priest who bicycled throughout the valley. He died of a blood clot after being injured on his bike nearly three years ago when a driver drifted across the white line and hooked his handlebars with her car mirror. Catalan was 49. More than 1,000 people attended his memorial.
Q Is there anything you can do to fix a problem at the San Jose Airport? When directing traffic at night in front of chaotic terminals A and C, parking control officers are standing in traffic wearing black uniforms with black gloves. Their hand signals are impossible to see, and I've witnessed several near-misses when they step in front of cars holding up an invisible hand. Can you use your influence to get them reflective vests and gloves to make them visible as the impatient crazies dart in and out of three lanes of pickups and dropoffs?
A Security personnel who manage traffic are required at all times to wear protective and reflective clothing, including vests and gloves, and have flashlights. There have been a few occasions during busy times when other workers who were not wearing the appropriate gear have jumped in to help. Airport officials have told them that they too must wear protective, reflective clothing.
Q Before the new interchange at Interstate 280-880 opened, the ramp from south 280 to north 880 would back up in the morning. With the new interchange, traffic from 280 has until Bascom Avenue to merge and flows freely onto 880, causing 880 to slow to a crawl -- which, ironically, causes the ramp from 280 to back up. Can Caltrans please turn on the freeway-to-freeway meters?
A There have been problems with electrical equipment, and new equipment is on order. But it may be spring before the meters are working.
Q How about Roadshow Hall of Famer Jeff Durban? Where is he hiding? Can you invite him to share his insightful and inimitable commentary of toll roads and such? With the winter gloom and the bear market, we need him to pick up our spirits.
A I'm on it. On Tuesday, a Roadshow special: We'll reprint Jeff's hilarious post after the opening of the I-680 toll lane along the Sunol Grade six years ago.