Q: I had a semi pinch me against the center divider once, damaging my car. The CHP asked if I had a dashcam. I didn’t. They told me that with the damage I had, if I had it on cam, they could’ve gone after the other driver. Because I didn’t, it was my word against the other driver’s. As a result, there was not much that could be done.
Moral of the story: Drive with a dashcam.
A: Yes, the CHP, insurance companies and I agree on this. Video from a dashcam can be so helpful. It may not result in a ticket for bad driving but can back up your version of events. More drivers are getting dashcams for front and rear windows.
Q: On Highway 101, just before Highway 85 in Mountain View, there is a beautiful wildlife painted wall. If this is graffiti, we need more of it. Any idea who did it?
Michael Adams, Gilroy
A: Caltrans and the Santa Clara County Traffic Authority oversaw this design of egrets by Denver artist Carolyn Braaksma.
It reflects a growing trend to improve the appearance of ugly concrete sound walls. When the Caldecott Tunnel fourth bore opened, it featured six concrete architectural medallions of local landmarks, including Mount Diablo and wild deer. There are 96 oak leaves painted on Interstate 680 in Danville. A painting of sailboats adorns walls north of the Carquinez Bridge.
The architectural medallions adorning the portals to the Caldecot fourth bore cost about $70,000 of the $417 million project cost. The oak leaves on I-680 cost $60,000 out of a budget of $32 million for new auxiliary lanes.
Braaksma has designed more than 20 public art projects. A Mountain View art advisory panel played a big role in shaping her project, which shows wetland birds and plants.
Q: What is happening at 101 and Blossom Hill Road? Any idea how long it will take?
A: A lot is happening. Bicycle lanes, new sidewalks and one traffic lane in each direction will be added, plus an eastbound dedicated traffic lane leading to the northbound loop on-ramp.
There’s also widening of the 101 northbound off-ramp to accommodate two left-turn lanes, one through lane, and one right-turn lane.
Plus, reconfiguration of the eastbound approach to the northbound off-ramp/Coyote Road intersection to accommodate two left-turn lanes and two through lanes and the modification of the existing traffic signal at the intersection.
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Author: Gary Richards