Q I'm not going to complain about the narrow lanes through the Mountain View/Palo Alto section of Highway 101. I'm not going to complain about the walls, the endless stream of uncovered gravel trucks, the very short ramp merges, the poor drivers, the suicidal lane-splitting motorcyclists, the stop-and-go traffic, or any other such things. Construction will eventually be finished (perhaps even in our lifetimes), and the situation will (perhaps) get better.
Q But you are going to complain about one rough ride, right?
A Can anything be done in the meantime about the quality of the pavement on southbound 101 between University Avenue and Highway 85? Please? With the lanes shifted to accommodate construction, the ruts of the old lane markers are bad enough, but the gaps and potholes make this a bit too much of an adventure. The No. 2 lane has areas with a nasty separation between what used to be the No. 1 lane and what used to be the shoulder, and it's positioned exactly where you'd want your tires to be, so most drivers either shift to the left or right edges of this lane to avoid this tire-eating gap.
I know this probably will be resurfaced when construction is complete, but can even some minor repairs be done in the meantime?
Please, please, please?
A Three pleases deserves immediate action -- and that's what you and so many others who have had to negotiate this minefield deserve. Caltrans will begin making repairs this week and should finish before Halloween. The area now under construction will be repaved after the widening ends next summer.
Q Apparently, I am not the only one freaked out by the situation on southbound 101 from Palo Alto to 85. I now refuse to take the Oregon Expressway entrance to 101 southbound that has extremely short merges, zero shoulders and fast 101 traffic. I now tell my friends returning to San Jose to go up Page Mill Road to 280 for their return trips. I don't want to lose them!
A Now, that is good advice.
Q The onramp from northbound Almaden Expressway to north 85 has two lanes, one of which is carpool-only. The far right lane on north Almaden is an exit-only to this ramp. However, carpools could use the next lane on the expressway to directly enter the carpool-only lane on the ramp, thereby avoiding a long line of cars in the exit-only lane during rush hours.
But this summer, a bike lane was added between the "exit-only" lane and the lane next to it, and this bike lane has solid white lines enclosing it near the ramp. So, to directly enter the carpool lane like before, one has to cross these solid white lines, which many people do every day. Is this legal?
A No. All cars traveling north on Almaden to the 85 onramp need to enter the same lane, but once on the ramp carpoolers can then move into the diamond lane. County engineers will monitor traffic and may repaint the area to start the carpool lane a few feet farther up the ramp to curb the habits of impatient drivers making illegal right turns.
Q I see that El Camino Real is having some paving improvements in Sunnyvale. Will this include striping for bike lanes? It would be inexcusable to neglect cyclists along this arterial route, since the options are essentially nonexistent.
A Caltrans will refresh the striping, but the current work will not provide new bike lanes.
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