Roadshow: Is it legal to pass in the carpool lane?

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Ron BurdaSan Mateo Bridge toll plaza. (Mercury News)Q Is it legal for drivers to use the carpool lane as a passing lane? The FasTrak lane on the San Mateo Bridge moves quite slowly until cars have moved over to get into the cash lane. Unless there are a lot of cars with stealth baby seats, it seems like quite a few single drivers are ... Read More→

Roadshow: Panhandlers can be ticketed at freeway ramps

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Bay Area News GroupPanhandler on an offramp in El Cerrito, Calif., 2004.Q There's a guy who panhandles at my very busy offramp every day around 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Cars will stop to give him money, and it really backs things up onto the freeway. I asked a CHP officer if this was illegal, and he said vehicle code 22520.5 prohibited this, ... Read More→

Roadshow: In two words, why South Bay drivers should care about Alameda County tax

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Bay Area News Group580-680 interchange in Dublin, Calif., during construction of the flyover from northbound 680 to eastbound 580. Q What's the most important East Bay traffic need, which clearly affects San Jose commuters as well? The 580-680 interchange. The two most important words are: FREMONT FLYOVER! MUST HAVE FREMONT FLYOVER! ... ... Read More→

Roadshow: When your license plate draws a cop's attention

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Marin Independent-JournalChecking license plates on Tiburon's surveillance camera system. Q I have personalized license plates on my car that are 25-plus years old. The paint on the lettering on the rear plate has pretty much worn off and I was pulled over recently by a police officer. He told me he couldn't read my plate and told me ... Read More→

Roadshow: Nurse appalled by drivers' reactions to ambulance

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Doug Oakley, Bay Area News GroupAmbulance on a Berkeley street. Q Dear Mr. Roadshow (and Mrs. Roadshow): I am a big fan and so are my emergency nurse and critical care colleagues. Every day, we learn something new from your column.Connie YokumA But today we are going to learn something from you.Q As a retired critical care nurse, I have ... Read More→

Roadshow: Highway 85's opening 20 years ago was a magical day

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Mercury NewsBicyclists enjoy the virgin pavement of Highway 85 several weeks before its opening. Q Why do we allow Saratoga -- one town of 30,000 people -- to have such influence on the decision to upgrade Highway 85 to four lanes? There are no easy solutions to the horrific traffic problems caused by the jobs-housing imbalance, but ... Read More→

Roadshow: Why 3 people are needed for a carpool on I-80 and some bridges

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Bay Area News GroupCarpool lane on I-80 eastbound near the University Avenue exit. Q My wife and I were traveling north on Interstate 880 and when we got to Emeryville traffic came to a near standstill. We could not get into the diamond lane on 80 because the sign said "Three or more," which leads me to ask, "Why?" All other diamond ... Read More→

Roadshow: Saying a nostalgic farewell to the family car

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Photograph courtesy of History San JoseSometimes a car becomes part of the family. Q Gary, it is with heavy heart that I have to inform you that my wonderful Ford Taurus has been donated. She was the best car ever. We had her almost 20 years.Sure, she was not sexy or not stylin', but she was great to drive. We took good care of her and ... Read More→

Roadshow: CHP replacing Crown Victorias with Ford SUVs

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CHP patrol car, Castro ValleyQ My commute takes me mostly on 680 and 580. Recently, CHP cars have morphed into large Ford SUVs -- everywhere. I suspect these cost more than the cars they've used for decades and wonder if you can tell us how much more and what the benefit is to the motoring public.Steve WrightDublinA Good eyes. The new ... Read More→

Roadshow: The Freeway Nanny needs to settle down

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Mercury News ArchivesBay Area freeway signs tell motorists about the hands-free cell phone law.Q Could you tell the Freeway Nanny to stop texting me when I'm driving? I really don't need him/her reminding me: The road is slippery when wet. Pull over when you are in a minor accident. Click it or ticket.Folks not aware of the above are ... Read More→