Q In a past column, you challenged litterbugs to explain why they litter our streets and highways. My suspicion is that you received few if any replies. How about an update?
A Ha! Not a single soul confessed. Instead, this is what has flooded my inbox and Facebook page:
Q Have you have received any complaints about garbage along the side of Hellyer Avenue between Highway 101 and the start of the business parks in South San Jose? I counted 10 bags of garbage at various points along the 1.5-mile stretch. Some bags had been ripped open by wildlife and the contents were strewn about the area. The area had finally been cleaned up less than a month ago when a sofa and at least two mattresses (along with the garbage) were collected after sitting on the side of the road for more than two months.
What makes people dump their garbage on the side of the road? We live in such a beautiful area of the country. Too bad all it takes is some litter and graffiti to make it look like a Third World country.
A And up along the Peninsula ...
Q There are a number of old trucks and cars at the southwest intersection of Interstate 380 and Highway 101 in San Bruno. They look like they have been abandoned. Are they on public or private land? The state seems to be spending a lot of money in the area to clean it up. Can these eyesores be removed? ... Will 280 south of Seton Hospital in Daly City ever get all the trash cleaned up?
Barry Grossman and Kathryn Newburn
A The 380 area belongs to a private landowner. Caltrans says you should direct your complaint to the San Bruno code enforcement folks at www.sanbruno.ca.gov/comdev_contactus.html. And I'll pass the Daly City complaint onto the CHP.
The CHP sent out an alert that highways in San Mateo County have been hit with the dumping of wood chips and gardening material, especially near ramps. Said Art-the-CHP-Man:
"Not only are these piles a danger to motorists by presenting a hazard to traffic, but also a danger to the environment and roadside vegetation. These piles can contain bugs that can destroy roadside vegetation, possible hazardous materials and can also be a fire danger with the recent hot temperatures."
The CHP asks you to call 911 if you see illegal dumping.
Now on to the East Bay.
Q I travel the 17/880 corridor to Fremont and am frustrated by the lack of routine maintenance that has allowed an accumulation of debris consisting of garbage, auto parts, metals and landscaping to pile up. In the 30 years that I have lived in the Golden State I have never seen it so bad and can't imagine the impression this makes when visitors from other states and countries come to Silicon Valley.
A Not a good one, you can bet.
Q The southbound Highway 85 offramp from 17 has got to be one of the most littered in the valley. I just submitted a maintenance request to Caltrans. Is there anything you can do to get this some attention? As I sit in traffic, I watch a dead duck on the side of the road decompose day after day. I see workers cleaning other parts of 85 and other freeways, but it's obvious this isn't on any list. ... I drive Highway 87 and there are tires, buckets, even an upholstered swivel chair on the shoulder. These items are a hazard if someone needed to pull over onto the shoulder. When will this mess be cleaned up?
Rita Kenney and many more
A Caltrans recently cleaned the following areas -- I-280 near the Guadalupe Parkway exit in downtown San Jose, Highway 13 near the Moraga Avenue exit in Oakland, I-80 between Highway 37 and the Carquinez Bridge in Vallejo, and I-880 from The Alameda north past the airport in San Jose.
Want to bet what those locations look like today?
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