Q: My husband and I travel Highway 17 frequently and we’ve noticed a tremendous amount of car debris in the roadway edges and along the mountainsides. With the recent rains, trim pieces, bumpers, tire and wheel pieces have appeared in the drainage areas, adding to the runoff debris that is causing flooding.
We’re fully aware that crashes and breakdowns need to be cleared as quickly as possible, but removing the debris should be part of the process.
Why doesn’t CHP ensure the drivers and tow operators remove the debris before leaving the site?
Darlene Brannen, San Jose
A: Highway 17 often gets ignored, primarily because of how dangerous this road already is. It would be risky for tow truck drivers and CHP to pull off onto the narrow shoulder to try to pick up post-collision debris. To retrieve all debris following a crash likely requires multiple vehicles and closing down a lane temporarily.
Q: I was wondering if there is a law or rule that prohibits tow truck drivers from taking ALL the car parts off the highway when picking up a car after a collision. I have repeatedly seen whole bumpers, fenders and other car parts left behind lying on the freeways. It’s unsightly and very DANGEROUS!
Mary Jo Kramer
A: There is no law preventing them from taking the car parts that are left behind.
Q: What happened to the $1.1 billion grant Gov. Newsom gave Caltrans to clean up trash and trim trees along our roadways? Some areas have been cleaned and others, like Interstate 680 at Mission Boulevard, are full of trash and weeds and haven’t been cleaned for 2-3 years. Another bad area is 237 and the 101 cloverleaf, at the center of our “rich” Silicon Valley. Can you please bring this up to them for immediate attention? It’s painful to look at every day.
A: The money is gradually being spent. The state has done litter clean-ups on Highway 85, Interstate 880 in the Oakland area, and Interstate 280. This work will definitely continue.
Q: My complaint about a driver stopping to let someone else go through an intersection, which supposedly caused a collision: Why no comment about the driver who blasted by the stopped car?
A: You have a very valid point. When you see a car stopped ahead, slow down and prepare for the unexpected.
Q: Does Caltrans have an online map of pothole locations on Bay area freeways? And do any Bay Area cities and towns do the same type of map for their local streets?
Peter Chen, Palo Alto
A: An interesting idea, but no. And if there were, those maps would have changed radically in these past few drenched and damaging weeks.
Look for Gary Richards at facebook.com/mr.roadshow or contact him at [email protected].
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