Will new car­pool lane rules worsen traf­fic in other lanes?

The Mercury News Weekend - - NEWS - MR. ROAD­SHOW Gary Richards Columnist

Q Now that driv­ers with green or white car­pool stick­ers can no longer use the car­pool lanes, I fear that will make traf­fic even worse in the other lanes. Right?

— Frank Alvia

A Let’s find out. Start­ing next week, tell me about your ex­pe­ri­ence. Are car­pool lanes flow­ing more freely now that 220,000 driv­ers have been booted out? Are the tur­tle lanes more crowded? It may take a few days or weeks to as­sess the im­pact. You’ll need red stick­ers or have a car­pool to stay in the HOV lanes. Q I have a 2014 Prius plug-in with green HOV stick­ers that are no longer valid. I also have a FasTrak transpon­der with three set­tings: “1, 2 or 3.” Un­til now, I have set the transpon­der to “3” be­cause of the green stick­ers. How should I re­set my transpon­der now? My guess is on “1,” un­less I have pas­sen­gers. Is that right?

— Larry V.

A You guessed right. Solo driv­ers will­ing to pay the toll can use the ex­press or car­pool lanes if they have FasTrak set to the “1” position. If they have a car­pool, set it to “2” or “3.” Q With bridge tolls up by $1, how will the in­crease be ap­plied to “multi or com­bi­na­tion” ve­hi­cles de­fined as those ve­hi­cles tow­ing trail­ers?

— Gene Dan­gel, Wal­nut Creek

A The toll in­creases $1 for four-axle ve­hi­cles. Q I had an in­ter­est­ing drive on In­ter­state 680 to San Ra­mon the other day. I en­tered the free­way be­hind some­one driv­ing 5-10mph be­low the speed limit. So I checked the lanes to my left, and a goodly dis­tance back saw a fast­mov­ing gleam­ing black car and no one in the fast lane for hun­dreds of yards both be­hind and in front of Crazy-Fast.

In the mid­dle lane, a big van was go­ing the speed limit, so I moved in be­hind it. The fast black car, rather than mov­ing into the empty fast lane, pulled up be­hind me. I was a bit sur­prised as all of us were far slower than she/ he was driv­ing. She/ he pulled up so close be­hind me I could only see a foot or two of his/ her hood. Then she/ he inched closer. Stayed there for a minute while I was think­ing, “holy crap!” Weird.

Then she/ he pulled out and hit the gas­mov­ing so fast she/ he was out of sight in sec­onds. Wow! Some­one was fired/di­vorced/ hu­mil­i­ated that morn­ing, I guess. Why would my tak­ing a spot in a lane slower than his/ her speed be so chal­leng­ing? My hus­band sug­gested an im­pulse con­trol prob­lem.

— Sue Bovee, Pleasan­ton

A This would be very high on Mrs. Road­show’s com­plaint list. And I never dis­agree with her. Q Now that the DMV has switched to touch­screen tests, how of­ten are screens san­i­tized?

— Bob Pe­dretti, San Jose

A The machines are san­i­tized each night, and as needed dur­ing the day. Look for Gary Richards at Face­book.com/mr.road­show or con­tact him at mr­road­[email protected]­yare­anews­group.com or 408-920- 5037.

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