Traffic Jammin’ with Janis Mara – Every Monday at 2pm on Claycord.com
TRAFFIC JAMMER: Greetings, all! This Claycord.com column is for everyone who negotiates the highways and public transit of the Bay Area. It runs every Monday at 2 p.m. and answers your commuting and transportation questions.
Email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
COMMUTER: Do you know if there are any plans to connect the Dublin and Walnut Creek BART stations in the future or to extend the Pittsburg line out to Antioch or further? It seems like either of these would help cut down traffic in two very congested areas.
TRAFFIC JAMMER: Great question, Rapid Transit! We’ve been focused on driving for several weeks now, so I’m glad you’re giving BART some love (well, at least some attention). BTW, beloved Claycordians, did you know that there is a system similar to BART in Atlanta, the Metropolitan Atlanta Transit Authority? Wouldn’t it be cool if BART and MARTA had a long-distance romance?
Er, anyway, back to Rapid Transit’s inquiry. There is good news and bad news. Our friend Rapid Transit is certainly correct; those two areas are rife with congestion (readers who commute those corridors daily probably have more choice language to describe the situation). Unfortunately, BART has no plans to connect the Dublin and Walnut Creek stations at this time, spokesman Jim Allison told the Jammer.
The news about Antioch is excellent, however. Even as we type, work is underway on an eBART extension going from Pittsburg to Hillcrest Avenue in Antioch. It’s being built in the median of Highway 4 as part of the project widening the highway. The BART project’s estimated completion date is 2016.
What is eBART, you ask? It’s a train, just as BART is a train, but a bit smaller than BART trains, with wide windows and level boarding. With eBART, the plan is that you’ll be able to hop a westbound train at Hillcrest Avenue and get to the Pittsburg/Bay Point BART station 10 minutes later, with a timed transfer.
To learn more about eBART, click HERE.
COMMUTER: Why do the police set up motorcycle speed traps on main commute route during non-commute time, when the really fast drivers drive during the commute hours? Are they afraid?
TRAFFIC JAMMER: Well, Questioner, it’s a bit difficult for the Jammer to answer your question because she doesn’t know where you are. In many areas, law enforcement is not out there trying to catch speeders during commute hours because traffic is backed up and moving at 15 mph or slower, and it’s physically impossible to speed.
Also, because there are so dang many cars on the road during commute times, it’s more likely that a crash will happen just by the law of averages. Obviously, officers are going to prioritize a crash more highly than catching speeders, who are just potential accidents.
The Jammer is also aware that there are areas where people are driving at horrifically fast speeds during commute times. Here’s a thought: Law enforcement and government agencies read this column, and it has been known to happen that after something gets written about here, lawbreakers get popped.
You will recall that frequent commenter Captain Freeway described the exact highway, the time of day and the nearby exit where egregious violations were taking place, and soon after, he saw a gap-shooter (as he describes them) get nailed. If you care to get more specific about where you’re seeing the violations take place, feel free to share. Who knows what might happen?
COMMUTER: Will you please remind people that while right on red is legal in California, you are supposed to STOP FIRST? I saw a Prius (a Prius!) nearly take out a mother and stroller at an intersection in Concord just the other day.
TRAFFIC JAMMER: Gladly, Worried. Claycordians, you all are smart people who probably know this already, so just a gentle reminder: Yes, the Vehicle Code says that a driver “facing a steady circular red signal may turn right, or turn left from a one-way street onto a one-way street.” The key element here, though, is that the driver can only do so after stopping, and if there is no sign in place prohibiting a turn.
That’s it for this week – see you next Monday. Be sure to cruise by Claycord.com at 2 p.m. for more traffic intelligence. Remember, whether you drive, walk, bike or hop Amtrak, BART or AC Transit, Traffic Jammer Janis Mara is here to answer your questions.
Send your questions to email@example.com.