Road crews need protection help from Highway Patrol
Q Exactly how many CHP and Caltrans units are needed to protect a couple of workers on the Dumbarton Bridge? Why is the number more than zero?
I drove across the Dumbarton to kids soccer tournaments last weekend. No less than four CHP SUVs were “protecting” two people working on the bridge lighting on Saturday morning, and four CHP SUVs plus two Caltrans pickups were escorting two guys picking up traffic cones on Sunday morning.
Safe to assume they were all on double or triple overtime as well? — Daniel Druker, Palo Alto A No, it’s not safe to assume that. Some cops may have been working overtime, but others were helping out on regular shifts. Working on a busy road like the Dumbarton is dangerous even on weekend mornings. Caltrans almost always uses a “shadow” truck to protect crews from speeding traffic. CHP officers help out when available for good reason.
Two weeks ago a driver was killed on Highway 101 near Brokaw Road in San Jose when he hit a shadow truck. And in August three Caltrans maintenance workers were injured when hit on Interstate 80 in Fairfield near the spot where a CHP officer and a motorist where killed when hit by another driver during a traffic stop a few days earlier. Q I couldn’t help but notice that you and a reader referred to “Ruby Hills” and “Ruby Hills Drive” in Pleasanton. As a longtime resident of the neighborhood, it drives me crazy that so many people get the name wrong. It is “Ruby Hill” and “Ruby Hill Drive.” Even the state put up a sign on Highway 84 that said Ruby Hills Drive. Can they get it right? This is not a big deal compared to moon crater-sized potholes on Interstate 580, but it is annoying to those of us who have to drive past the sign every day. — Dan Simone, Pleasanton A New signs could be coming when paving work ends in a few weeks. Q When are they going to paint lane lines on westbound I-80 between Pinole and Richmond? It is very confusing in fast traffic, with almost nonexistent lane markers. Can somebody with a bucket of white paint get out there soon Robin Wood, Pinole A Some paving work remains and when completed the white-paint folks will be out. Q I sometimes travel to Tracy at 4 a.m. on Byron Highway at Highway 4. I hadn’t been there for about six weeks and, all of a sudden, I came upon a roundabout. I had no idea where I was for a second. I thought I had spaced out and took a turn somewhere. Fortunately there were no cars behind me to honk at me and add tomy stress. Took a few seconds to realize where I was. A roundabout. Holy moly. — George Mathews, Antioch A This area will see a lot more traffic, so removing a left-turn light in favor of the roundabout should better ease the backups.