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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

It was a scary night on the Bay Area freeway and something needs to be done: Roadshow

Q: It was great that all the rain came last weekend; However, it also posed a problem to see white painted partitions on concrete roads and bridges.

During a trip to Pittsburgh on Sunday, I noticed many people wandering side by side trying to navigate this situation.

Why not just draw black lines on the concrete road? Black on white works even at night.

John Maguire, Benicia

A: Good idea, Kaltrans says, and they’re chasing it. The state plans to use more contrasting stripes – a white line with black stripes on the sides. They increase the width of all 4 “traffic lines to 6” lines and use more thermoplastic markings for the traffic lines. They look like paint but are more reflective and spread over the asphalt.

Q: I was driving home Sunday night on Highway 87 from Taylor Street to Blossom Avenue. It was dark and pouring rain, and I was not afraid for a long time.

There are no lane markers in this section. The reflector dots were mostly gone, and the white track markers were either gone or so dim they were useless. It was very difficult to know if I was in the lane or not. Something needs to be done before the next heavy rain, or people could be seriously injured.

Rob Jones, San Jose

A: Caltrans is involved in this. For a specific traffic problem, the quickest way to report it to Caltrans is to submit a service request at https://csr.dot.ca.gov/. It can be used for any repair of public highways.

Q: Just curious, do many other states require license plates on the back and front of vehicles? Is this a common thing or a California quirk? Personally, I think this is a good policy.

Tom Darby, San Jose

A: Nothing out of the ordinary. Thirty states plus Washington DC require two plates.

Q: I recently noticed bright yellow borders at traffic lights and am very impressed. They make the light so visible. Most are mounted on lanterns with trees behind them, so intersection brake lights may have one or two standard boundaries, while others are frameless. Do you know who came up with this brilliant idea? It’s nice to see something with such obvious benefits.

Sue Yeager, San Jose

A: This idea was approved by the Federal Highway Administration, and California became the first state to implement them in 2009. Yellow reflective plates make traffic lights more visible. This is especially important at night and when the utility cuts off the power. The frames also provide more context for color blind drivers.

World Nation News Desk
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