Nearly $32 million flows into state from carpool cheaters: Roadshow

Q: I commute from Gilroy to San Jose and continue to see solo drivers using the carpool lane on Highway 101. I’m pretty sure the regulars are aware of the fact that there is rarely a CHP presence. What kind of revenue is generated from tickets issued to violators?

Kathi Farmer

A: There are around 20,000 carpool tickets written a year in the Bay Area. At $500 per ticket, that’s a cool $9.9 million. Statewide, it’s a staggering $31.8 million. Think what it would be if more cheaters were nabbed.

Q: I have read your column for many years, and appreciate your good advice. But there is a problem: You’re preaching to the choir, and the choir is shrinking. So despite your good intentions, I seriously doubt that it makes any difference to the scofflaws. But keep up the good work. If nothing else, it’s entertaining, like the signs on Interstate, oops, Highway 85.

Jack Cole
San Jose

A: Oh, Jack, I will not give up the fight.

Q: VTA’s answer to the Alum Rock mess states population growth is the problem. But they just need to reset the traffic lights. They screwed it up, and now they should just admit it and fix it.

Pat Benham
San Jose

A: A fix is coming. Left turns previously closed to traffic along the Alum Rock Bus Rapid Transit line will be restored this week at Jose Figueres Avenue, McCreery Avenue and North 34th Street. Think that will help?

Q: I live near Highway 87 and am amazed at the level of noise from it. The highway needs leveling and new pavement which should improve the noise levels. Can you please provide an update?

Rick Panian
San Jose

A: We could know later this year. The pavement rehabilitation of 87 between Highway 85 and Interstate 280 is on the long list of paving candidates. Depending on funding, paving might not occur until 2022.

Q: Last Wednesday I encountered 8 miles of bumper to bumper traffic caused by landscape work on northbound Highway 17 that shut down one lane. After a one-hour delay, I finally passed the bottleneck. It consisted of one truck (Davey Tree Service). Two workers were standing on the pavement, and one was up in the trees doing useful work. I estimate that more than 2,000 cars each waited one hour in the mess. If the mess truly lasted 4 hours per the signage, it would likely impact over 10,000 drivers/passengers for an hour each.

Can you tell whoever is in charge of Highway 17 maintenance that delaying 2,000-plus people while a tiny crew performs work is ridiculous?

Frank A.

A: This slowdown came at 11:30 a.m., outside commute times. Alas, any work on 17,  even midday, will cause problems.

Join Gary Richards for an hourlong chat noon Wednesday at Look for Gary Richards at or contact him at

Source: mercurynews
Nearly million flows into state from carpool cheaters: Roadshow

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