Question : A few weeks ago, someone knocked out the traffic light controller at the intersection of Foothill Boulevard and Fairmont Drive in Ashland/San Leandro. Since then, the lights have turned to flashing red in all directions and traffic has never been smoother.
The result is reduced travel times, reduced gas mileage, fewer emissions (which contribute to climate change and people suffering from respiratory problems), and happier drivers.
This intersection is quite busy because it provides on-ramps to Interstate 580, as well as access to Alameda County facilities, including sheriff’s offices, a hospital, and a youth detention center. Just a few blocks away is the Bayfair Center, a major shopping center.
This begs the question: have we over-designed the intersections? Why not consider converting traffic lights to flashing red or yellow, as appropriate? Wouldn’t that be a win for everyone?
—Brian A. Foster, Castro Valley
A: Some engineers and other drivers may disagree with you, but it’s an interesting observation coming from a busy intersection.
Question : I am an avid cyclist and have lived in Hamilton Place for 30 years (we are the closest unit to Hamilton and Leigh Avenues). We would have to have our perspective on Leigh to understand why the city put him on a diet.
We still have the two northbound lanes of Hamilton that Lindsay Geier wrote about in one of your columns last week, but now they jog past Valley Christian School to accommodate the new bike lane and curbside parking Street.
It was once a two-lane straight-line daily drag strip. We saw numerous red light accidents in Hamilton and Leigh and a sideshow at midnight. THAT will help. Just fix the lights. Thank you, San Jose Streets Department!
The Los Gatos Creek Trail runs east-west and doesn’t even connect eastbound Meridian Avenue to Lonus Street near Lincoln. What if we connected our trail now?
— Robert Wahler, San Jose
A: And …
Question : Since we’re talking about Leigh Avenue, I want to say a word about the environmental damage caused by the shows. Beyond the horrible stench and deafening screams, there is water pollution. According to people at the shows, what happens when it rains? All that shredded tire rubber gets washed into storm drains and then into streams.
I bet our flock of mallards and Canada geese under the Los Gatos Creek Leigh Avenue Bridge would have something to say about that.
— Robert Wahler, San Jose
A: There is little discussion about the environmental cost of shows.
Question : After a collision, do people take photos of everyone’s driver’s license (and other cards)? Is it safe?
—Gary, San Jose
A: Yes. The DMV provides more information on what to do after a vehicle collision at: https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/?s=accident
Find Gary Richards at Facebook.com/mr.roadshow or contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.