Crawl to Dumbarton toll plaza leaves drivers angry, pushy: Roadshow
Q: Can you help us frustrated commuters on the Dumbarton Bridge? One of the toll gates next to the second FasTrak lane has been closed for quite some time, thereby creating unnecessary congestion and other problems.
If a toll taker is not available, it would be most helpful if they make it a designated FasTrak lane. As it is now, we all have to creep and crawl and wait to get to the area where we can move to the FasTrak lane, and by then people are so angry that they’re cutting others off and causing horrible traffic situations.
I live only 3 miles from the toll gates and it takes me at least 30 to 45 minutes to get to the toll gates. I only live 15 miles from work in Palo Alto, and it now takes me at least 1 to 1½ hours to get to work. Something needs to be done, and quickly.
Kathy Nunes, Newark
A: Mr. Caltrans, we need help here. Pronto.
Q: The Dumbarton Bridge had a toll booth closure on Monday and again Tuesday. I’m sure this is adding to the anger of an already horrible Peninsula commute. Can you please talk to Mr. Caltrans and ask him to make a toll collector present at this booth during peak commute hours? Better yet, make it a designated FasTrak lane. It took me 40 minutes to reach the toll plaza and I live only 2 miles away from it.
Lisa Ynzunza, Fremont
A: Two miles, 40 minutes. Yikes.
There were staff shortages for the cash lanes that could not be filled on Monday and Tuesday. In the future, during peak hours, Caltrans will open non-staffed cash lanes as FasTrak-only lanes to ease traffic through the toll plaza.
Q: I use the southbound Interstate 680 express lane through Fremont to drive to Gilroy to visit my mother, and don’t mind paying whatever the going rate is with FasTrak. My question: In the express lane are we expected to go at the usual high speeds since it’s also the fast lane? I don’t want to go above about 75 mph but I have people tailing me at times. I can’t exactly change lanes from the express lane to let them by.
But I’ve paid my money (sometimes a lot!) to be using that lane, and am going at least 10 miles over the speed limit. What’s your take?
Jane Zuercher, Orinda
A: The speed limit is 65 mph, but 70-75 is at least how fast folks go in those lanes, when they can. If you are traveling at that speed and still have people close behind you, move into the next lane if you can; otherwise, keep your pace. In another year, you’ll be able to move in and out of the express lane at almost any location on I-680 through Fremont.