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Archive for the 'driving' Category

How to make the S-curve safe on the Bay Bridge

The Bay Bridge has had nearly an accident a day on the new S-curve that opened after Labor Day modifications of the span. There was another crash there Friday even though Caltrans added new safety measures on the curve during the recent six-day closure of the bridge.

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Posted on Saturday, November 7th, 2009
Under: Bay Bridge, Caltrans, driving, Retrofitting, Safety | 2 Comments »

How to prevent car versus bicycle crashes that kill and maim?

As we in the Bay struggle with conflicts between cars and bicyclists sharing the same road, so does the public in Los Angeles County. Check out this story about a doctor on trial for four felony accounts related to a collision with some bicyclists who allege the physician tried to harm them.

“Though data suggest that cycling fatalities have actually fallen nationwide,” reads the LA Times story, “one new study suggests that the injuries cyclists suffer in traffic accidents are becoming more severe.” Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Friday, November 6th, 2009
Under: Bicycling, driving, Safety | No Comments »

I-680 freeway fix in San Ramon Valley: little now, more later

Caltrans will close two of the four lanes on southbound Interstate 680 in Alamo for three or four hours today – starting at 10 a.m - to repair a hole in the pavement. A major rehabilitation of the entire freeway in the San Ramon Valley is being planned for summer of 2010.

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Posted on Wednesday, November 4th, 2009
Under: Buses, Caltrans, driving, Freeways, Safety | No Comments »

A chance to chime in before bridge tolls are raised

Bay Area bridge operators have scheduled three public hearings on a proposed toll increase on seven state bridges. While bridge operators appear determined to raise tolls, they have many details to figure out.

Members of the Bay Area Toll Authority are wrestling with how to revamp tolls to do two new things: collecting tolls from car pools during rush hour periods on all seven bridges, and structuring Bay Bridge tolls so drivers pay more during peak periods, and less during in off-peak times.

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Posted on Tuesday, October 27th, 2009
Under: Bay Bridge, Bridges, Caltrans, driving, Retrofitting, tolls | No Comments »

Will the toll on bridge drivers be too big a toll?

People who take car pools across seven Bay Area bridges may be in for an unpleasant change next year: the end of free rides for car pools during rush-hour periods. And on the Bay Bridge, regular drivers not in car pools also may in for a shock: higher tolls during peak commute periods than at other times.

Proposed options to make those major changes in July were unveiled Monday by the Bay Area Toll Authority, which plans to hold hearings in November. I’m betting both changes are going to come under fire from some angry drivers. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Wednesday, October 14th, 2009
Under: BART, Bay Bridge, Bridges, Carpooling, driving, Environment, Freeways, global warming, Retrofitting, tolls, Transit vs. driving | 1 Comment »

Toll shock: Will Bay Area bridge tolls go up?

Bay Area bridge operators disclosed a year ago they were considering raising tolls on seven state-owned bridges by $1 – up to $5 per car. On Wednesday morning, a toll authority committee will get down to the details of when and how to do it.

The Bay Area Toll Authority Overnight Committee meets at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday at the MetroCenter, 101 Eighth Street, Oakland to consider a report on options for a toll increase.

One sticky issue is whether to start making car pools pay tolls to cross the Bay Bridge during peak commute hours. The free ride may be over.

Toll Authority administrators say they need a toll increase to pay for a seismic retrofit on the Dumbarton and Antioch bridges, to cover reduced revenues from fewer drivers crossing the bridges, and to absorb the higher cost of credit to pay for bridge operations and retrofits.

Antioch and Dumbarton bridges – the newest of the seven state bridges – initially got a clean bill of health after the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989. But now Caltrans has concluded the two bridges need to be made stronger.

The toll increase would apply to the Bay Bridge, Dumbarton, Antioch, Richmond-San Rafael, Benicia-Martinez, Carquinez and San Mateo.

State legislation adding the Dumbarton and Antioch bridges to the State Toll Bridge Seismic Retrofit Program was signed into law Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger over the weekend. The bill, authored by Assemblyman Tom Torlakson, D-Antioch, makes it easier for the Toll Authority to upgrade the two bridges to withstand earthquakes, toll authority staffers said.   

         

Posted on Tuesday, October 13th, 2009
Under: Bay Bridge, Caltrans, Carpooling, driving, Retrofitting, tolls | No Comments »

Death on the highways: Texting, twittering and calling

The evidence keeps piling up  – along with dead and mangled bodies – that use of electronic communications devices while driving is taking a heavy toll. But it’s not like Americans are going to go back to the days of pulling off the road to make calls from a phone booth.

So what are the best actions for drivers and lawmakers to take to minimize the carnage from use of cell phone calls, texts and tweets on the highways?  Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Saturday, September 26th, 2009
Under: Buses, driving, hands-free driving, Safety, trucks | No Comments »

Wait announced for Caldecott Tunnel contract

The opening of bids to add a fourth bore to the Caldecott Tunnel has been delayed from last Friday to Sept. 29, Caltrans reports.

The postponement was sought by bidders who wanted more time to study addendums to the contract specifications. Caltrans figured the extra 18 days would give contractors more time to understand the details of the big digging job and possibly submit lower bids, according to a spokesman for the agency. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Monday, September 14th, 2009
Under: driving | No Comments »

Coping without Bay Bridge for four days

How will you change your travel plans when the Bay Bridge is closed for four days, starting 8 p.m. Thursday? We at the Capricious Commuter invite you to drop us a line.

Tell us about your advance plans and then tell us how it actually turns out over the long weekend. With our common dependence on bridges in the Bay Area, it’s a big deal – practically and psychologically - when our busiest bridge has a 300-foot-long  gap sliced open and a giant filling rolled in to replace it and create a new bridge detour. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009
Under: BART, Bay Bridge, Bridges, driving | No Comments »

Tweet that bridge open, please

Twitter users will get the news quickly this Labor Day weekend about the closing and reopening of the Bay Bridge.

Go to to the Caltrans Web site - baybridgeinfo.org - for tips on getting tweets about progress on the construction project triggering the need to close the bridge for four days.

We all know the bridge will close 8 p.m. Thursday. The big question is: Will it reopen by 5 a.m Tuesday as planned? Will it reopen earlier, as is possible? Or will it reopen later, an unlikely but possible outcome that would cause traffic chaos on freeways after the long holiday ends.   Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Monday, August 31st, 2009
Under: 511, Bay Bridge, Bridges, driving, Freeways, Misc. Transportation | No Comments »