Q: When I returned to my car in the Valley Fair parking lot one day last week, I noticed a man standing next to his SUV with his back window smashed out. He was from Denver, in a rental car, was only in the mall for an hour and had all his cameras stolen in a smash and grab. He said he lost $10,000 in cameras plus the pictures from a job he had just completed. I felt so bad for him.
It got me thinking about car rental agencies. They should post a warning at the counter, have the agents mention it and have signage at all exits reminding renters to not leave any valuables in view in the car. Smash and grabs are so rampant around here, and we owe it to our visitors to warn them. How can we get this warning out to our visitors?
Pam Shukait, San Jose
A: Your plea is a good start. Auto break-ins are up 14 percent over last year in the South Bay. A prime target is rental vehicles with bags and equipment in plain view. At a nice little restaurant that Mrs. Roadshow and I frequent, there are signs posted both outside and inside, warning patrons about possible car break-ins. Several rental companies do have signs at check-in areas, but they can do more, and should.
Q: I’m wondering why Caltrans has removed a mile of healthy appearing oleander plants in the median of Highway 17 from Lark Avenue to Los Gatos? These plants absorb carbon dioxide and were attractive. Appears to be a step in the wrong direction.
Terry Baker, Los Gatos
A: Those oleanders may have appeared healthy, but possibly were not. Caltrans is removing and trimming dead, dying and/or diseased trees or ones impacted by the drought. Each tree has been assessed by Caltrans arborists and tagged for removal. Caltrans will be removing vegetation throughout all nine counties in the Bay Area to reduce damage to property and impacts to drivers.
Q: Why at the Highway 87 left-turn light onto northbound Almaden Expressway is there a light for continuing straight on Almaden? It’s never red and I don’t see a reason for it.
Glenn R., San Jose
A: Glenn is right. The light remains green for northbound traffic on Almaden at 87, as there are no conflicting movements. While a red light is not needed, it was added to help motorists who are unfamiliar with this area could stop in the through lane, thinking that the light for the left to northbound Almaden is also controlling the through movement. To remove this confusion, the county added the signal for the through movement, and it shows a green signal all the time.
Thieves target rental SUV, ,000 in cameras at Valley Fair: Roadshow