The Mercury News Weekend

Here's what to do if you are stuck between road boulders


QI was surprised by your answer regarding the express lane speed limit. I just took the in-person exam at the DMV and one question was, “How fast should you drive on a highway with a posted limit of 65 mph if the flow of traffic is exceeding the limit?” The answer was that it would be illegal to drive over 65 mph in order to keep up with the flow of traffic. Please help. We are caught between road boulders and autobahn wannabes.

— Dick Powers, Los Gatos


Technicall­y, you're correct. Drivers need to find a lane where they can safely go with the flow. Traffic in some lanes may exceed the speed limit, but often, not all do.

QI fail to see how Interstate 980 disrupts West Oakland. Half of it is elevated, with lots of streets crossing below. The half not elevated has five bridges crossing over it.

If you want to see a town made unusable by freeways, try Milpitas. We are chopped up by two freeways and a major rail yard in a town less than 4 miles across. Two eastwest thoroughfa­res cross both freeways. Neither one is bikefriend­ly. We need more bridges and bike lanes over the freeways and railroads. Can Milpitas apply for this “Reconnecti­ng the Town” grant?

— Jesse Lee, Milpitas

AUnfortuna­tely, in Milpitas, there is no timetable, and there are no projects looming on the horizon to improve this situation.


Last week I went to Yosemite and used four-wheel drive for the first time. When should I use four-wheel drive if roads are partly clear and partly snowy? Should I turn it on and off, or is it OK to leave it on? There was some disagreeme­nt in my car over this issue. We have not driven in the snow in many years.

— Julie Ludwig,



The answer from Jeff-the-tire-man applies to cars that do not have full-time all-wheel drive. He said that most people he knows engage four-wheel drive at the first sign of wet roads and leave it on until they are on dry roads. It's not advisable to keep it engaged on dry roads.

QOn the topic of altered license plates, I see a lot of cars with bike racks that obscure the license plate. Most don't have a bike attached. That should at least be a fix-it ticket. I'm sure the racks help you use toll bridges, carpool and express lanes for free.

— Al Ludlow, Morgan Hill


It's legal to leave a bike rack on your vehicle. One license plate on the vehicle should be visible to prevent problems such as the one you describe.

Look for Gary Richards at mr.roadshow or contact him at mrroadshow@ bayareanew­

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 ?? JANE TYSKA — STAFF ARCHIVES ?? Downtown Oakland is shown from a drone view at the Brooklyn Basin developmen­t.
JANE TYSKA — STAFF ARCHIVES Downtown Oakland is shown from a drone view at the Brooklyn Basin developmen­t.

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