Q: Has there been an incredible increase in speeding recently?
I “stayed in place” for a year during COVID and am just coming out of hibernation. What has happened? People blow past me when I am going 65 mph or occasionally a bit more. They’re sometimes going over 100 mph.
The worst part is going west on 280 through San Jose when the setting sun makes it impossible to see, yet people blow past everyone. I’m scared.
Judy Snow, Los Altos
A: You have reason to be frightened. There was a significant increase in speed-related incidents and traffic fatalities in 2020, despite a huge drop in traffic during that time.
In California last year, more than 500 people were killed and more than 57,000 others injured in crashes caused by unsafe speed. The CHP issued more than 28,000 speeding citations to motorists driving in excess of 100 mph – and 9,300 more during the first four months of this year.
Q: Thumbs up for carpool and toll lanes. I made a one-day round trip to Yuba County last week and had resigned myself to traffic delays in both directions.
I left Willow Glen later than planned, around 8:15 a.m., got onto Interstate 680 to 80, to 5, then 99 to 70. Traffic slowed briefly a few times (debris on the road, a disabled vehicle causing looky-loo reactions) but my 145-mile drive was a cruise and I arrived earlier than expected.
Dee Danna, San Jose
A: Good news. How about the return trip?
Q: I planned to leave before 3 p.m. to get ahead of traffic, but again my departure was delayed, until 3:50 p.m. I resigned myself to heavy traffic from Sacramento to San Jose. Wrong. The return trip was smooth and easy, without delays. After the Benicia Bridge, I got in the toll lane up to 580. Traffic in the other lanes moved smoothly. I arrived home in 2 hours, 15 minutes.
I realize I was traveling in the reverse-commute direction, but it was a good drive. I give significant credit to the toll lanes. Even if one is not using the toll lane, they seem to lighten traffic in the regular lanes.
Dee Danna, San Jose
A: I don’t hear that very often. Usually it’s complaints about speeding drivers causing havoc in the toll lanes and illegally crossing double white lines to enter or exit. Use of the toll lanes has been low. Does anyone else want to weigh in on this?
Q: A few years ago, I asked about paving I-80 near the Carquinez Bridge. Nothing has happened. Any news?
Rob Waxman, Richmond
A: A big repaving project on I-80 could begin by fall 2022.
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Author: Gary Richards