Q: I have been a devout reader of your column for over 20 years and was appalled by the headline for Friday’s column: “Want to add more lanes to the I-5? Not so fast.” The I-5 — really. The only explanation I can think of is that someone other than you wrote the headline. I thought you swore off using “the” in front of road routes.
Dale Schmidt, Burlingame
A: I did.
Q: Does the headline of the 8/27 column really say “the” I-5?
Brian Simmons, Marina
A: It did.
Q: From the title of Friday’s piece, you sound just like you’re from SoCal: “Want to add more lanes to the I-5?” Not so fast.” For shame!
A: This was not my evil doing. Headlines in the printed newspaper are written by editors based in Los Angeles, where they foolishly call it “the I-5.”
Q: Your column Friday on widening I-5 was a useful report. Thanks. And if you care to take it a bit further, you might show how much of the third I-5 lanes could have been built with the funds spent so far on the Central Valley’s fast train from/to nowhere.
Here’s another wild idea. If Caltrans built a set of train tracks from Tracy to Wheeler Ridge in the I-5 right-of-way and loaded much of the current traffic onto non-stop trains, that could cut a lot of road traffic, especially truck traffic, use less fuel, and possibly even shorten travel time for the segment. It would almost certainly be at a cost that is much smaller than the money spent so far on the bullet train fiasco!
Al Donner, Moraga
A: Many agree.
Q: I have driven on I-5 to visit relatives in LA and Nevada for years. There should be three lanes each way. The road is straight, there’s plenty of open land for a third lane. It’s flat and level. You could not even ask for better conditions for roadwork.
Forget about high speed rail and put the money where it is beneficial.
A: And ….
Q: Use some of the state’s $70 billion budget surplus to widen both I-5 and 99. And throw in converting Highway 152 to a freeway from Gilroy to the 156 merge for good measure. Let’s get something that people can really see and feel out of that surplus.
Yes, I know the anti-car lobby won’t like the idea, but heck, they can drive their Teslas on those improved freeways!
Bill Stock, Emerald Hills
A: Of your suggestions here, 99 is being widened, and improvements to 152 are being studied. As for widening I-5, check back later. That one could be a century from now.
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