Q I see signs alerting drivers that the metering lights will be soon turned on along southbound Interstate 280 through downtown San Jose. What about the northbound side as well? They are needed there, too.
A The northbound meters will be turned on later this year, but the southbound onramp lights will begin flashing red to green on May 30. Meters will be working from Menker Avenue to 11th Street from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays. This means nearly all ramps from DeAnza Boulevard in Cupertino to 11th Street in San Jose will be metered and will hopefully ease the nasty transitions on I-280, especially at Meridian Avenue.
The meters will be set solid green this week to alert drivers to the pending change. Stimulus funds were used to pay for the $5.5 million project.
Q For the past couple of months, one meter on the onramp to south Highway 101 from Hillsdale Avenue in San Mateo has been gone, possibly hit by a driver.
I believe if a meter is missing, you should treat it as if there is no meter. I have been simply driving straight through this meter every day, while the right lane people stop because they have a functioning meter.
I just want to make sure I'm following the law properly, so if I get stopped I can quote you. ... One of two metering lights at the eastbound
Stephen Chen, Gary Hitch and many more
A Both meters will be replaced in a few weeks. Over the years, I have gotten various opinions on what drivers should do. Art-the-CHP-Man says no section of the vehicle code specifically deals with this, but he urges drivers to treat it just like any other traffic signal that is not working and stop: "It would be safer for everybody involved if both vehicles stop rather than having one at 45 mph or faster, while the one in the other lane is slowly increasing its speed to access the freeway."
Q For the work occurring on Highway 85 from I-280 north to 101, the concrete they are using dries overnight. I am impressed. How do they do that? However, it is rough when they are done. Will they grind it later or repave over all of it with modern, quiet asphalt?
A This is a quick set concrete that dries within 3½ hours and is used on all concrete slab work. Once new slabs are in place, crews will grind down the pavement to finish smoothing out the concrete. Asphalt will be used to repave the ramps.
Q Do you think there will ever be an 880/87 interchange?
A No. The ramps would be too close to exits at First Street and Coleman Road. Aerial ramps could interfere with flight operations at Mineta San Jose International Airport.
Q Although we have seen our share of cameras going up on local highways, I have noticed a sudden increase in a new type of pole going up literally overnight on Interstate 880.
These poles are taller and located at major off-ramps. The cameras, if they are cameras, seem to be pointed horizontal versus tilted down. I drive by in the morning, and pop goes the weasel, another one has been planted! I'm not overly paranoid, but what is going on?
A These are a few of a dozen closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras being installed on Highway 17 around San Tomas Expressway and on I-880 north of I-280 to monitor traffic conditions. They are often tilted horizontally until they start working. Some poles need to be taller to see over elevated ramps, which will be coming at the 280-880 interchange.
Q The underpasses on Highway 17 at Camden Avenue and on Interstate 280 at I-880 have scaffolding around them. What are they doing? Looks like they might just be painting them? These two overpasses are some of the few that are constructed with that green-colored steel. Don't see many of those. Why do they choose to build these few out of this green material?
A Caltrans is doing maintenance at both locations. When the supports are made of steel, as they are here, green paint is used to weather-proof them. Work at 280-880 should end around July 6.