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Archive for the 'driving' Category

Want a piece of the $420 million pie?

Caldecott Tunnel by Flickr user Tom LemosCaltrans is preparing to open bids Sept. 11 to expand the Caldecott Tunnel, the huge connector between the freeways and cultures of Contra Costa and Alameda counties.

Caltrans reported this week that it has pushed the original bid opening date from this Tuesday, Aug. 11, to Sept. 11. The agency now is scheduled in mid-November to award the contract to add a new two-lane bore just north of the existing three bores on Highway 24 between Orinda and Oakland. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Saturday, August 8th, 2009
Under: Caltrans, driving, Freeways | No Comments »

Rolling along the Benicia Bridge with new lane, more space

Commuters who drive the Benicia/Martinez Bridge from Solano to Contra Costa County now have some extra room for their drive: a fourth southbound lane and wider road shoulders.

Those entering the bridge from Interstate 780 also have a second merging lane to avoid traffic backup.

The new features, finished over the weekend, were in place for the the commute today as Caltrans wraps up a $43.5 renovation of the old Benicia Bridge. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Monday, August 3rd, 2009
Under: Bicycling, Bridges, Caltrans, connectivity, driving, walking | No Comments »

Toll road bill moving along

A bill allowing the creation of an 800-mile network of carpool/toll lanes in the Bay Area has cleared its first stop in the California Senate.

Assembly Bill 744 by Assembly Majority Leader Alberto Torrico (D-Newark), passed today on a 6-1 vote of the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee, and will next go to the Senate Appropiations Committee. Last month, the bill cleared the Assembly on a 58-18 vote.

The bill is controversial, but it keeps moving along. Some motorists detest the idea of being required to pay a toll to get access to any lane on any public freeway. But the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, sponsor of the bill, says traffic congestion can be reduced if single-occupant vehicles are allowed to pay during rush hour for the right to use a lane otherwise limited to carpools. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Thursday, July 16th, 2009
Under: driving, Freeways, tolls | 3 Comments »

Traffic congestion eases but for how long?

A new report confirms that traffic congestion in America’s cities eased in 2007, disrupting a long trend of steadily worsening traffic.

It’s no surprise. High gas prices in the last half of 2007 discouraged some from driving as much. With the recession throwing more people out of work, we can expect the trend to continue for a while longer. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Wednesday, July 8th, 2009
Under: driving, Planning | No Comments »

A bike commute on the back roads, deer and all

The highlight of my bike to work this week was encountering a mother deer and her two fawns crossing Danville Boulevard in front of me near Singing Hill Road in Alamo.

Here was this deer ambling across the well-traveled old highway during the morning commute. She seemed to know that either cars down the road would stop for her or that someone on a bicycyle was not a threat. I shooed her on. She walked off the road into some brush and disappeared down an embankment leading to the Walnut Creek channel.

It was a taste of nature while commuting by bicycle on the backroads of Contra Costa County. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Thursday, May 14th, 2009
Under: Bicycling, driving, Environment, Misc. Transportation | 1 Comment »

Name that highway: Boatwright proposed for honor

A state senator and former Concord mayor wants to name a portion of Interstate 680 after a retired state senator who also served as Concord mayor.

The man proposed for the honor: Daniel Boatwright.

The man proposing the honor: Mark DeSaulnier. The Concord Democrat in the state Senate has proposed legislation to affix the Boatwright name to the stretch of I-680 between the Benicia-Martinez Bridge and Highway 24 in Contra Costa County. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Sunday, May 10th, 2009
Under: Caltrans, driving, Freeways | No Comments »

Paying to save time on toll lanes

Would you pay to save time driving the freeways? Would paying a toll to use an express lane seem less painful if you knew it was helping ease freeway traffic congestion for the masses?.

Bay Area residents are getting closer to finding out. A plan to create an 800-mile network of express lanes open to carpools for free and others for a toll easily passed two big hurdles in the last week. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Wednesday, April 29th, 2009
Under: Buses, Carpooling, driving, Freeways, tolls, Transit vs. driving | No Comments »

Politicos talk of gas tax, but will public support it?

Talk of a gas tax is getting more attention as our roads and public transit systems struggle  from money shortages, but it remains a risky proposition for politicians to consider a tax hike for a basic commodity in a recession.

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said on Meet the Press Sunday he thinks we should consider raising the 18.4 cents a gallon federal gas tax to pay for projects to help revive the economy. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Wednesday, March 25th, 2009
Under: driving, Freeways | No Comments »

Can a dinosaur evolve before it’s too late?

You wouldn’t nominate the boss of a major American auto manufacturer as the likeliest person to suggest the nation consider a huge increase in the federal gas tax.

But General Motors CEO Rich Wagoner told reporters earlier this week that a big gas hike might be good for America as an incentive for consumers to save energy by buying hybrids, electrics and other fuel efficient vehicles. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Friday, March 20th, 2009
Under: driving, Environment, fuel, global warming, Misc. Transportation | 1 Comment »

Americans Rock & Roll – But, Increasingly, We Don’t Drive

Travel on all U.S. roads and streets dropped 3.1 percent, or 7 billion vehicle miles for January 2009 as compared with January 2008. Woo Hoo! Traffic dropped the most in the north central region of the country, the area from Ohio to the Dakotas, going down 6 percent. Bad news for the West: We were the only one of the Department of Transportation’s designated areas in the country where driving increased. Drivers in the bloc of states including Hawaii and Alaska posted an increase of .2 percent.

 (Photo: ryanrocketship on flickr.)

Posted on Thursday, March 19th, 2009
Under: driving, Environment, fuel | 2 Comments »