Q God help me, having to drive southbound Highway 101 from Redwood Shores to Sunnyvale every day. Enough of the road construction madness. My Audi can't take it anymore, Gary! When will the nightmare be over? My Audi is begging for answers.
A Work on auxiliary lanes from University Avenue to Embarcadero Road should end this winter. But work on the new carpool lanes south of there to Highway 85 will continue into next summer. You can go to www.dot.ca.gov/dist4 for updates on road projects throughout the Bay Area.
Q A few years ago Caltrans was thinking of putting a roundabout at Gilman Street-Interstate 80 as a solution to that mess. I was delighted. And then nothing happened. I wish Caltrans would start using roundabouts everywhere. They are so efficient and help traffic move so easily. Is it because they feel Californians can't learn to drive with them?
A This has been under discussion since at least 2008, and it will be several years before a roundabout is installed. I'll let Farid-the-Berkeley-Traffic-Man take it from here:
"This is a more complicated intersection than most. The eastbound ramps are part of a six-legged intersection and the westbound ramps are
"Your reader is right: Roundabouts are the proposed approach for reconfiguring the interchange. Additional improvements are being developed to serve bicycle and pedestrian access through the interchange to reach the sports fields and Bay Trail."
The $15.7 million project could get design and environmental clearance by 2016, and construction could be completed in 2018.
Q When the fourth bore is completed at the Caldecott Tunnel, will there always be two tunnels assigned for each direction of travel or will the current practice of making only one tunnel available for the counter commute continue?
A Two tunnels will be open each way all day.
Q I am hoping you can help me figure out what figurine-type "thing" is overlooking Interstate 80 in the East Bay. It consists of four figures -- two men holding odd-looking tennis-type rackets and two females. The one facing the highway is holding what looks to be a book. It is high up on a pole and very nice-looking. But what is it?
A The sculptures are a Berkeley project showcasing the city's pedestrians, bicyclists and anyone else who might use this crossing near Aquatic Park. There are two monumental sculptures containing oversize fiberglass figures. On the Berkeley side are oversize figures (12 feet) of a violin player, a scientist holding a DNA model, a thinker, two activists and the tower at UC Berkeley known as the Campanile. On the Marina side there are a bird-watcher, kite flier, jogger, boater and a dog catching a Frisbee (hey, it's Berkeley).
Go to www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/ContentDisplay.aspx?id=19818 to see photos of the sculptures.
Q Oh please, Mr. Roadshow, tell me that Contra Costa County hasn't signed off approving the rehabilitation/repaving work that was done in late July on Waterfront Road between I-680 and Waterbird Way in Martinez. What a waste of taxpayer money in an era when we can least afford shoddy work. The road is just as rough and tumble as before the paving was done. All that the contractor did was grind out some stretches of deteriorated pavement and lay new asphalt. Nothing was done to smooth out the uneven nature of this stretch that jostles you around and really beats up your suspension, which was really the problem to begin with. Please inform those with the power to have the contractor go back out there and do the job right.
A I didn't need to. Crews will return in the next couple of weeks to do some grinding work at the bridge deck and pave approximately 20 feet on either side of the bridge. The earlier work was to address areas where the base pavement was failing. The road elevation changes are due to water on both sides of the road and heavy truck traffic.
Q Do speed limits apply when passing another vehicle? My friend claims his speeding ticket was for a higher speed he needed to pass a car; otherwise he was obeying the limit.
A Limits are limits, and they do apply when passing.
Q I'm not sure if you've noticed, but on south Interstate 280 between Highway 92 and the overhead sign about 1/8 of a mile or so back, there are diagonal lines two to three inches or so cut in the road that are noticeable when you drive over them. Any idea why they are there? The first time I ran over them years ago, I thought I had a flat tire.
A Mystery solved: Caltrans had a problem during heavy rains with water pooling on the freeway, so they cut grooves in the pavement to drain the water away.