Q: I am fortunate that I don’t have to cross the Bay Bridge daily. Recently, I found it quite difficult to figure out where the lanes used to be, or still are. I don’t think there is a single Botts dot remaining that is the same size as the original. The lane markings are so old and faded it feels like they were last painted during the Renaissance. Please have Caltrans do some magic here.
Stephen Heesacker, Los Altos
A: Magic is coming.
Caltrans has striping work underway to repaint lane lines on the west approach to the Bay Bridge. Botts dots — of which there are an estimated 20 million on state roads now — will be removed after 50-plus years of service. New wider and brighter white lane lines will replace the old dots. As areas are repainted, the dots are being removed.
The state also plans to use more contrast striping, a white line flanked by black stripes. Caltrans found the newer lane lines performed better, led to fewer crashes, and are easier to maintain than Botts dots.
Q: You are amazing! I sent you an email to ask about repaving the approaches to the Dumbarton Bridge from the east side. They were a mess! Well, the very next morning Caltrans was out there doing just that. I know you are pretty fast, but I didn’t know you could work that fast. Now it is such a pleasure driving on the nice, smooth, quiet pavement, with the nice wide, bright white lane markers. Thank you, thank you! Or at least thanks to Caltrans.
Lynne Mercer, Newark
A: Caltrans got to this before I did, so all thanks go to the state. Anything else?
Q: Now, if you can also get them to fill in the major potholes in the opposite direction. There’s one in the left lane at the toll plaza, one in the left lane around Thornton, and another, really big one in the left lane between Thornton and Newark Boulevard. That would really make me and a whole lot of other people happy.
A: You have much to look forward to. Pothole repairs are coming.
Q: I was very disappointed in your response to the man who received a violation notice after crossing the Benicia Bridge and thought the wording was a little harsh. Your rather flippant advice was to get a transponder.
My husband and I received a similar notice and also were bothered by the wording. We only cross the Benicia Bridge once or twice a year and wonder how that justifies getting a transponder. We don’t think it does.
Judy Wobleski, Walnut Creek
A: As express lanes spread on our freeways, you might be wise to get a transponder.
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Author: Gary Richards