Chang­ing car­pool rules to three peo­ple per ve­hi­cle draws jeers

The Mercury News - - News - Gary Richards Colum­nist Con­tact Gary at mr­road­show@ ba­yare­anews­

Q Chang­ing the car­pool to three pas­sen­gers is in­sane. It will put more peo­ple in the reg­u­lar lanes and very few in the car­pool lanes. What are they think­ing? — Steve Carter, Camp­bell

A They are think­ing ahead, but this move would hit South Bay driv­ers hard since the av­er­age oc­cu­pancy rate is only around 2.1 peo­ple per car­pool in Santa Clara County. But it’s higher on In­ter­state 880 in Alameda County.

The only area with a three-per­son car­pool re­quire­ment is In­ter­state 80 east of the Bay Bridge.

Q The prob­lem with the HOV con­ges­tion is the one pas­sen­ger “green cars.” Be­ing a limo driver and driv­ing up from the Mon­terey Penin­sula, I get stuck in High­way 85 traf­fic all the time, and it’s the Prius or Tesla with just the driver clog­ging the roads. — Bryan Laws, Peb­ble Beach

A Driv­ers of elec­tric cars make up 8 per­cent of car­pool users, but the big prob­lem is cheaters who some­times can be as high as 24 per­cent.

Q Not to be snarky but chang­ing the re­quire­ment for the num­ber of pas­sen­gers seems like a hope­less so­lu­tion. If two pas­sen­gers per car can­not be en­forced by CHP, how will three?

The best so­lu­tion is bet­ter en­force­ment. — Steve Brock, San Jose

A You are right. A pro­posal to raise fees for more CHP en­force­ment has been put on hold. Too bad.

Q In­creas­ing the car­pool num­ber to three might re­ally be an is­sue I wouldn’t sup­port. In­crease the charge at busy times. — Jenny Maloney

A That is maybe the best so­lu­tion along with more en­force­ment. As more ex­press lanes — I-80 and In­ter­state 880 in the East Bay, north­bound In­ter­state 680 through Fre­mont and on high­ways 85 and 101 — are added, this will be eas­ier to do.

Q Any chance some­thing will be done soon with re­gards to the killer pot­holes on In­ter­state 880 past Mis­sion Boule­vard across from the Tesla fac­tory?

Elon Musk is go­ing to drive one of his shiny Model 3 ve­hi­cles off the Tesla fac­tory grounds and two min­utes later he’ll be on the shoul­der with man­gled tire rims. This road pit has been bad, bad, bad for well over five years. How about some love (i.e., road $$$) to fix this? — Tim Riener, Fre­mont

A Pot­hole re­pairs are com­ing, not only on the free­way but also on nearby War­ren Av­enue.

Cal­trans will place den­sity polyurethane be­neath the ground at var­i­ous spots along War­ren, then pave those ar­eas through the win­ter.

There will be nightly lane clo­sures from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. week­days and 10 p.m. to 9 a.m. on week­ends. At least one lane will be opened at all times on War­ren in both di­rec­tions.

Join Gary Richards for an hour­long chat noon Wednesday at www. mer­­road­show.

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