Q Some of your readers are prone to exaggeration, but I'm trying hard to avoid it.

Allan Flippin

Brentwood

A My readers exaggerate? I think not!

Q In my morning commute, I sometimes use the Interstate 680 express lane and the 880/237 express lane. I've been watching for quite a while, and I have to say that not one single day has passed without seeing at least one person making an illegal (and dangerous!) lane change over the double white line.

Allan Flippin

A On this issue I know you are not exaggerating, because so many others have the same complaint.

Q It seems that unless the express lane is rather full and moving at least 30 mph faster than the other lanes, some enterprising soul will get the bright idea to change lanes. Knowing this, a lot of people in the express lanes will not go anywhere near the speed limit, even if they could, out of fear that one of these people will pull out in front of them.

After a while, a person gets accustomed to reading the "body language" of vehicles ahead, to predict if one of them looks ready to change lanes. It's very stressful!

Due to the way these lanes are set up, I admit there's not a lot of extra space for CHP to stop and pull people over. But still in the past few months I've seen no effort at catching illegal lane changers. I'm not sure what they could do, but certainly this is something that needs some attention! Help!


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Allan Flippin

A I can't promise help, but I did contact Steve-the-CHP-Man, who said there are officers out of Dublin assigned to do 680 express lane enforcement about four times a week, plus one beat officer assigned to it every shift.

And D.J.-the-San-Jose-CHP-Man said his office has extra patrols on 237-880, but this is a "difficult area for our guys to set up and of course if our guys are driving up and down these areas, no one will make the lane changes because they see our guys out there."

The fine for crossing a double white line can run as much as $500, the same as a carpool ticket.

Q You said Contra Costa County did not have red-light cameras. I live in San Ramon, which is Contra Costa, and we have red-light cameras. Check out Crow Canyon Road at Crow Canyon Place.

Arleen Christensen

San Ramon

A Oops. That is what some East Bay traffic officials told me. There are just a few red-light cameras in Contra Costa County. Should there be more and, if so, where?

Q Any idea what the plan is for the onramp at the San Pablo Dam Road onto Interstate 80 going east?

J.C. Robinson

A The rebuilding of this interchange should begin in two years. This will be a monster job, eventually costing $113.5 million, of which $29 million is in hand.

Plans call for replacing and widening the San Pablo Dam Road overcrossing, moving McBryde Avenue access from westbound I-80 and moving El Portal Drive access to westbound I-80. And Amador Street will be shifted to intersect with San Pablo Dam Road further east.

Go to www.ccta.net for more information.

Q Do you know anything about the exit at Interstate 80 at San Pablo-El Portal roads in Richmond? It has been closed for quite some time.

Pam Underkoffler

Pinole

A Work is almost wrapping up on east El Portal Drive to repair a collapsed culvert. The road has been closed to through traffic but could reopen by the end of this month.

Q Our little town of Felton has a growing problem that is starting to get dangerous. At the corner of Highway 9 and Graham Hill Road is a Taqueria Vallerta. Traffic going south on Highway 9 frequently gets gridlocked at this intersection due to all the left turns being made into the Taqueria Vallerta, and also all the left turns being made into the New Leaf just a few yards further south.

In order to get out of the gridlock, cars are using the shoulder to pass on the right of cars waiting to make their left turns. Just the other afternoon, I got stuck right behind someone trying to make a left into the Taqueria Vallerta. Cars behind me were honking horns, backed up into the intersection behind me, and then some cars started passing on the right, using the shoulder.

This seemed very dangerous (and I do believe it is illegal) as pedestrians are often walking on the shoulder or trying to cross at the crosswalk in this same area. There was a CHP officer a few hundred feet further south of this area. He/she must not have noticed this mess behind them because they drove off and did nothing to help.

Could you please work your magic and alert the authorities to the dangers of this intersection? I'd sure hate for some pedestrian to get run over by those cars using the shoulder.

Karen Schwartz

Felton

A I talked to Caltrans, which talked to Sarah-the-CHP-Spokeswoman, who had this to say:

"Because a left-hand turn at this location is permissible, and there is no specific law prohibiting the rest of traffic to proceed on the right, that movement is not inherently illegal. HOWEVER, driving to the right of the solid white line must be done safely.

"Due to the high number of pedestrians and occasional bicyclists in this area, a driver would be hard pressed to safely pass here during most of the day.

"This is certainly a safety issue and we sincerely appreciate your reader's input. I will forward this on as a formal traffic complaint and it will be brought to the attention of officers working in the Felton area."

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