Road crews need pro­tec­tion help from High­way Pa­trol

The Mercury News Weekend - - NEWS - MR. ROAD­SHOW Gary Richards Colum­nist Fol­low Gary Richards at Face­­show or con­tact him at mr­road­show@ba­yare­anews­ or 408-920- 5037.

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.

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