Q: A couple of weeks ago, I sent you an email about a 3-by-5-foot pothole on southbound El Camino Real near El Monte Avenue in Mountain View that went down three layers of paving (at least 3 inches deep).
I submitted this request for repairs to Caltrans on Sept. 9. Guess what? They haven’t repaired it yet, and now there’s another one that’s competing with this one for size. It’s ridiculous! It’s time for a vigilante pothole crew!
… What is the deal with the potholes on El Camino Real in Mountain View? There are hundreds of them, and they’re 4 inches deep!
Ed King, Sunnyvale, and Nicola Krest
A: Finally, potholes repairs are in sight. Caltrans is working with the cities along El Camino to begin installing new sewer lines soon. This is the first step in this project. Repaving will follow in a few months.
El Camino is one of many roads that need fixing. Overall pavement conditions on the Bay Area’s nearly 44,000 lane-miles of local streets and roads landed once again in “fair” territory last year in an annual report by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission. According to the report, the typical stretch of roadway shows serious wear and is likely to require rehabilitation soon.
Q: Family from Arizona visited earlier this year. I told them they would be billed to use the carpool lanes and bridges via “invoice.” To my surprise, they received an invoice plus a ticket!? Is it necessary for out-of-state guests to set up a FasTrak account and mount a transponder in their vehicle for future visits to California?
That’s not good PR for California.
A: Out-of-state visitors have a number of options. For toll bridge customers, one option is to make a one-time payment (up to 30 days in advance or up to 48 hours after a toll crossing) at https://www.bayareafastrak.org/en/tolls/one-time-payment.shtml.
Another option — for both toll bridge crossings and express lane trips — is to open a FasTrak license plate account at https://www.bayareafastrak.org/en/tolls/license-plate.shtml. In this case, one’s license plate is linked to a credit or debit card.
With a license plate account, customers are unable to receive free or discounted travel in the express lanes. So a third option, which allows for express lane discounts, is for generous local hosts to lend out-of-state visitors one of their FasTrak Flex tags.
A fourth option for people from out of state who travel here fairly regularly is to open their own FasTrak account, and get their own toll tag.
The FasTrak customer service center has been known to waive penalties for out-of-state customers who have received just one violation for a single toll bridge crossing or express lane trip.
Look for Gary Richards at Facebook.com/mr.roadshow or contact him at mrroadshow@bayareanewsgroup.