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‘Are intersections over-engineered?’ After traffic smoothes after a four-way stop the reader asks:

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Why: A few weeks ago, someone broke a traffic light controller at the intersection of Foothill Boulevard and Fairmont Drive in Ashland/San Leandro. From then on, lights started flashing red in all directions, and traffic never moved so smoothly.

This results in reduced travel times, reduced gasoline consumption, less exhaust (helping with climate change and people with respiratory problems) and happier drivers.

This intersection is quite busy as it provides on/off ramps to Interstate 580, as well as access to Alameda County facilities including the sheriff’s office, a hospital, and a youth detention facility. A few blocks away is the Bayfair Center Mall, a major retail center.

This raises the question: Have we overbuilt intersections? Why don’t we give proper consideration to changing traffic lights to flashing red or yellow lights? Wouldn’t that be a win for everyone?

– Brian A. Foster, Castro Valley

A: Some engineers and other drivers may disagree with you, but it’s an interesting observation from a busy intersection.

Why: I am an avid cyclist and have lived in Hamilton Place for 30 years (we are the closest unit to Hamilton and Leigh Avenue). To understand why the city has put it on a diet, you need to know our view of Leh.

We still have the two lanes northbound from Hamilton that Lindsay Geyer wrote about in one of your columns last week, but they now jog in front of Valley Christian School to accommodate the new bike lane and curbside parking.

It used to be a daily two-lane straight-line dragstrip. We’ve seen several red-light accidents in Hamilton and Leigh and even a midnight side show. This will help. Just get the lights fixed. Thank you, San Jose Streets Department!

Los Gatos Creek Trail is east-west and does not connect to Meridian Avenue on the east side as far as Lincoln Street. Now how about connecting our paths?

– Robert Wahler, San Jose

A: And …

Why: Since we’re talking about Lehigh Avenue, I want to say a word about the environmental damage caused by sideshows. Water pollution goes beyond the horrible smell and deafening screams. What do the people sitting on the shore think happens when it rains? All that shredded tire rubber flows into storm drains and then into streams.


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