I-5 to L.A. may be faster but more nerve-racking than 101: Roadshow

Q: Recently my wife and I drove 200 miles via 880/680/I-5 to pick up our adorable new puppy, Sky. But we almost didn’t make it.

At least five times during our trip, “dive-bombers” cut across three lanes, speeding past us, inches from our front bumper, with no regard for upcoming traffic in any of the three lanes. Why is this becoming so frequent and how can it be stopped?

Do we need front-firing missiles to clear these idiots from our path?

Ed Taub, Mountain View

A: That would get their attention. This is another example of how drivers can make life on the road so dangerous for everyone.  Did you consider Highway 101?

Q: My wife and I just returned from a round trip to Los Angeles. We traveled down on Highway 101, and returned on Interstate 5.

Highway 101 was delightful, except for traffic-slowing construction in Santa Barbara and temporary delays passing through Ventura and Thousand Oaks.

Interstate 5 was, well, interesting. The number of massive trucks streaming over the Grapevine was frightening. Once in the Central Valley, the average speed of automobiles was close to 85 mph, while most of the trucks, legally restricted to 55 mph, were traveling between 70 and 75.

We noted zero law enforcement on I-5, and my wife noted that the pavement was excellent. Once off the Grapevine, the road was so straight you could have locked your steering wheel and taken a nap (we didn’t).

Was Interstate 5 quicker? Yes. Was it worth it? Absolutely not.

California is a wonderful, diverse state and the amount of agriculture in both the Central and Salinas valleys is amazing. But next time we head down to Los Angeles, we are avoiding I-5.

Jim Thurber, Mountain View

Q: Thanks for the comparison and advice.

Q: I have a question about the right-hand turn at the off-ramp from I-280 to Foothill Expressway. There is a traffic signal at the right of the right turn. I have always been told that you need to obey this signal. Has something changed?

Bob Hebson, Cupertino 

A: Yes, something has changed. Last week, no-turn-on-red signs were posted at this intersection.

Hopefully, this will end the confusion over the signal at the end of this ramp. The signal is intended to provide better off-ramp traffic control.

In addition, there is a crosswalk that crosses the off-ramp at the signal, so drivers making a right-turn-on-red could imperil pedestrians here. Drivers are usually looking left at oncoming traffic and could fail to check for pedestrians coming from the right.

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Author: Gary Richards