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    Republicans have been denouncing Pete Buttigieg and demanding that he be replaced as Secretary of Transportation. They have a point. Buttigieg’s time on the job has seen some truly amazing disasters like Southwest Airlines’ Christmastime debacle and last week’s 90-minute grounding of all air traffic—the first time that’s happened since 9/11. But do conservatives actually want government action to prevent these disasters? That would mean a better-funded Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and a Secretary of Transportation who was willing to bring down the regulatory hammer on corporate America. People like Ted Cruz and Tom Cotton are happy to score some cheap political points complaining about the chaos. But they’d be howling with outrage about “Big Government” if Buttigieg was replaced by someone willing to do what actually needs to be done. Buttigieg vs. Republicans Until recently, Pete Buttigieg was one of the Democratic Party’s rising stars. In 2020, he came close to winning the party’s presidential nomination—a remarkable feat given that his only previous experience in public office was a rocky tenure as mayor of a small city in...
    Tennessee Governor Bill Lee painted the state as a leader in the nation and highlighted the work still ahead during his second inaugural speech held in Nashville on Saturday. Lee lauded the state’s accomplishments, including Tennessee’s status as the “lowest tax rate per capita in the nation, the lowest debt rate per capita in the nation, and the fastest growing economy of all 50 states.” “We have set an example for America of how to serve,” Lee said during his remarks, adding, “the halfway point of any endeavor is a good time to reflect, but it’s an even better time to plan – to focus on the work still ahead.” The governor highlighted five specific areas he intends to focus on during his second term as Governor – transportation, energy, natural resource conservation, environment preservation, and protecting children in the state’s foster care and through the adoption process. Lee said, “We need a transportation strategy and an energy strategy designed for one of the fastest growing states in America. We need to enhance efforts to conserve our natural resources and...
    For marathon runners, the last mile is often the hardest — and the same apparently holds true for extending Caltrain into downtown San Francisco. Preparations for the final 1.3-mile leg — pushing trains to the city’s Salesforce Tower — are finally picking up speed after decades of on-and-off planning. But there’s one major hurdle: a new $6.7 billion price tag. The rail line — also planned as the finishing northern stretch for California’s High-Speed Rail — saw a cost increase of 34% from a 2015 budget, according to a new estimate from the Transbay Joint Powers Authority, which oversees the project. At $5.15 billion per mile of new track, the Caltrain undertaking is now runner-up for the world’s most costly transit project, behind New York’s notoriously pricey East Side Access project, according to a database at New York University. The escalating figure is not holding back transit planners. They have set an ambitious 2032 completion date, allocated over $1.7 million toward lobbying the state and federal government for funds, and rebranded the extension with a new name: “The Portal” “This...
    Walmart has offered applicants the chance to make up to $110,000 in their first year by becoming truck drivers. The retail giant is supposedly in need of people to fill that role, as they recently announced plans to expand their Associate-to-Driver training program. 2Some Walmart employees will have the opportunity to make six figures in a new positionCredit: Getty 2The retail company is reportedly expanding its Associate-to-Driver training programCredit: Getty It is said to last 12 weeks and offers a possible six-figure payday, per Penn Live. However, the catch is that the offer is only applicable to people who are already Walmart employees. They must either be working in stores, fulfillment centers, distribution centers, or transportation offices in specific areas to apply for the program. To qualify, employees must work at one of the company's locations within a 50-mile radius of a hiring transportation office. Read More on WalmartHEALTHY FINDS My cheap 'best in class' snack at Whole Foods that shoppers should getSTAY WARM Shoppers Shoppers rush to buy gadget at Walmart can slash energy bills by $250 The...
    Amid growing pressure to confirm a new Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) administrator, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer says it's 'time to clear the runway' for President Joe Biden's pick Phillip Washington. Republicans, however, oppose Washington's nomination due to his lack of experience and recent allegations of potential corruption. But lawmakers on both sides of the aisle see a need to fill the void left when Trump-nominated Administrator Steve Dickson stepped-down halfway through his five year term at the end of March. In recent weeks, Americans have faced a high level of interruptions in air travel. Southwest Airlines had a complete meltdown over the holidays when increased travel and issues with their systems led to thousands of flights being delayed or canceled. A few weeks later, all domestic flights at U.S. airports were grounded for several hours Wednesday morning due to an FAA systems glitch, which caused a ripple effect on flight plans throughout last week. Senate Majority Leader chuck Schumer said during a press conference in New York Sunday that the upper chamber will 'clear the runway' for a confirmation...
    Q: Sometimes drivers try to be “nice,” but it causes problems for others. I was involved in a three-car accident where a woman decided to stop on a four-lane road to let a driver enter from a side street. When she stopped, a car speeding in the same lane decided to go around her and was hit by the car from the side street. This caused the speeder to hit my car head on while I was stopped, waiting to make a left turn. I saw it coming, but there was nothing I could do. Henry Sorensen A: This is an example of situations when drivers who don’t adhere to the rules of the road and right-of-way can cause confusion, or much worse, as your experience shows. It’s best, and nicer, for all if everyone follows the rules of the road. Anyone who needs a refresher can check the latest version of the California DMV’s Driver Handbook at ://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/handbook/california-driver-handbook/ Q: While your answer to a question by Jeff E. recently about parking on a grassy area along a roadside is...
    The Federal Aviation Administration has been functioning without a Senate-confirmed administrator for nearly a full year – leading to more criticism and questions surrounding the mishandling of air travel meltdowns in recent months. Both the House and Senate are concerned that there has been a void in leadership at the FAA, especially after the Southwest debacle last month and a computer glitch that led to nationwide flight cancellations for several hours Wednesday morning. Senator Ted Cruz, who is taking the top GOP position on the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee in the new Congress, said in a statement Thursday that the FAA failures exhibit the larger 'dysfunction' within the Department of Transportation under Secretary Pete Buttigieg. A spokesperson for House Transportation Chairman Sam Graves told DailyMail.com the congressman is 'very concerned about' the failure to secure a confirmed FAA administrator. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has been operating without a Senate-confirmed administrator for nearly a full year – leading to more criticism over the recent failures of the agency and the Transportation Department overall. Many claim that Biden's pick Phillip...
    Republicans want Pete Buttigieg and his staff to be forced to fly commercial flights until recent failures in air transportation are fully investigated and resolved. Representative Nancy Mace filed a bill Wednesday that would force the Transportation Secretary to come face-to-face with disastrous airline travel. Specifically, Southwest Airlines had a complete meltdown over the holidays that resulted in thousands of flights being canceled and delayed – resulting in stranded passengers and a nationwide baggage catastrophe. Airline departures in the U.S. were also grounded for several hours Wednesday morning due to a computer glitch with the Federal Aviation Administration system that sends pilots safety alerts and other critical information. Buttigieg, 40, has faced a slew of criticism for his handling of transportation and infrastructure issues plaguing the U.S. since he became head of President Joe Biden's DOT two years ago. A new Republican bill would force Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and his staff to fly commercial until recent failures in air transportation are fully investigated and resolved The bill was introduced Wednesday by Representative Nancy Mace, who served on the House...
    Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg called Wednesday morning's nationwide flight outage a 'data point' to learn from as Republicans demand answers about back-to-back airline crises. He also told MSNBC that flights were grounded or delayed 'out of an abundance of caution' while a glitch in a key Federal Aviation Administration safety feature was resolved. The Biden official also said he did not believe the origin of the outage was 'nefarious.'  'This gives us a really important data point at a really important moment to understand what we're going to need moving forward,' Buttigieg told reporters today. In his MSNBC interview, Buttigieg conceded that 'glitches' such as these happen but vowed his department would be investigating the matter. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg vowed that his department was investigating the outage that forced the FAA to ground and delay flights Transportation Sec. Buttigieg on FAA system outage, as normal air traffic operations resume: "Complications happen all the time, but we can't allow them to ever lead to this level of disruption, and we won't ever allow them to lead to a safety problem."...
    There is growing confusion over the FAA's decision to ground all US flights this morning following the failure of a digital safety update system which many pilots say is not crucial, and should never have halted air traffic.   According to the FAA, a problem with its NOTAM (Notice to Air Missions) system meant all flights had to land and stay grounded until 9am.    It has now been fixed, but the outage caused catastrophic delays across the country; more than 8,000 flights have been delayed and 1,000 canceled with more disappointment on the way as airlines and airport scramble to play catchup.  The FAA is yet to explain what prompted the outage or why there was no back-up in place to keep flights in the air.  Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, speaks to reporters after speaking to the Transportation Research Board in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023 Passengers at Miami International Airport on Wednesday after a 'computer failure' halted all flights for several hours and delayed thousands of planes across the United States RELATED ARTICLES Previous 1 Next ...
    President Joe Biden is calling on Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg to launch a full investigation into an outage that's forced flights across the United States to be grounded or delayed on Wednesday morning. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has asked all airlines to temporarily hold domestic flights on the ground until 9 a.m. ET  as officials frantically search for what led to the disruption of a key safety system.   Biden told reporters early on Wednesday that he's already been in contact with Buttigieg and indicated he would be keeping a close eye on the developing matter. 'I told them to report directly to me when they find out,' the president said shortly before 8 a.m. ET. 'Aircraft can still land safely, just not take off right now. They don't know what the cause of it is, they expect in a couple of hours they'll have a good sense of what caused it and will respond at that time.' President Joe Biden told reporters early on Wednesday that he's already been in contact with Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg RELATED ARTICLES ...
    On Wednesday, November 30, 2022, members of the Joint Study Committee on the Electrification of Transportation, Co-Chaired by Sen. Steve Gooch (R – Dahlonega) and Rep. Rick Jasperse (R – Jasper), adopted its final committee report, outlining the committee’s work and recommendations after several months of study. “The market for electric vehicles continues to expand both across the state and nation,” said Rep. Jasperse. “In order for Georgia to capitalize on the potential electric transportation can bring to our freight and logistics industry, we need to ensure we have the proper infrastructure in place to support expected demand. Through our work in this committee, we have proposed several recommendations related to EV charging, permitting, training, and planning to set Georgia up for success as this industry continues to grow.” Sen. Steve Gooch added, “The committee report will be used as a reference for potential legislation to be introduced in the future and grant the General Assembly the knowledge it needs to make informed decisions on the future of electric vehicles...
    Q: I commute in early-morning hours. With the current rains, there HAS to be a way to ensure that we can see the lanes. Botts dots everywhere would be great. Or something reflective. Being unable to see where you are is incredibly stressful. George Mathews, Antioch A: Caltrans is replacing Botts dots with better striping. Visibility is a feature of the planned striping that is being tested statewide. Q: I drove from Oakland to Milpitas in a huge downpour late Saturday. On Interstates 580 and 880, Botts dots were missing for up to 200 feet at a time. The road just seemed to disappear. I heard that Botts dots are to be eliminated. Should I plan to get a bumper car in the near future? Keith Scott, Milpitas A: All new lanelines, edgelines, and centerlines will be 6 inches wide instead of 4 inches. When lines are refreshed during maintenance, they will be replaced with wider lines. An exception will be made for lines with reflectors on either side because wider lines will not fit without moving the reflectors. This...
    Q: I never received my state-issued gas rebate. I checked to make sure I qualified. When you call, there’s no option to speak with anyone. An email to the Franchise Tax Board has gone unanswered. Is there anything else I can do? Paul Yamshon, San Ramon A: Be patient. Gas tax rebates should all be out by later this month. Q: I’ve long known that just before each off-ramp, there are white markers on the right shoulder in groups of 3, then 2, then 1, about 50 yards apart. This is presumably to provide drivers direction in heavy fog, helping them know that the off-ramp is just ahead. Sometimes instead of markers, the white line at the shoulder is broken just before the off-ramp. On a recent trip from San Jose to Los Angeles, I noticed similar markers in amber on the left shoulder on Interstate 5 south and Highway 101 north. The markers on I-5 had a 4-3-2-1 pattern, but on 101, it was 3-2-1. I tried to figure out what these markers could be for, but failed. Can...
    Q: Did I miss the gas price contest winner announcement? Teresa Smith A: I printed the two winners’ names a few weeks ago after each correctly guessed $5.42/gallon on Nov. 15. Today we learn more about them. Q: That’s fantastic! I actually won a contest! It’s mostly luck. When I submitted my guess, the gas price at my neighborhood gas station was $5.59. I figured that the price would trend down slightly. I drive a Toyota Tacoma. I handled higher gas prices by cutting down on driving and walking a lot more. At times I would walk several miles to the grocery store. Thank you for the contest and was I lucky to have won! It makes my day. Keep up the good work. Choon Lee, Palo Alto A: I applaud you for walking to cut your gas use. Congratulations, again, and keep on walking. Q: Thank you for this contest. I’m excited to be a winner. I am retired and my husband and I live at The Forum, a retirement community in Cupertino. At least two dozen residents who...
    Susan Keeffe never left the Oakland airport when her flight to visit family in Baltimore was canceled in the ongoing chaos of Southwest Airlines’ Christmas meltdown. But her checked bag took off and hopscotched around the country for days, one of the untold number of suitcases separated from travelers this week. “We tracked the bag to Las Vegas, and the next thing it shows up in Albuquerque, and then it was in the wilderness somewhere in the mountains. I thought it was on a puddle jumper or on a truck or something,” said Keeffe, 78, who followed her luggage’s adventure thanks to an Apple AirTag transponder she stashed in the bag. “This suitcase has been on a nice tour of the Southwest.” With cancellations of thousands of flights continuing Wednesday and into Thursday, many passengers who are missing their family members are also missing their luggage as Southwest’s epic snafu has sent bags around the country. The airline said it had no estimate for the number of bags that have been separated from their owners, but scenes of luggage in...
    After the dust settled from the 2022 midterm elections, the incoming, narrow Republican majority in the House of Representatives began to talk about what next year ought to bring. Transportation is one key realm for change. After all, House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Peter DeFazio (D-OR), who is retiring after 36 years in Congress, tended either to support President Joe Biden's administration on transportation issues or tried to push them to the left. For instance, DeFazio, in August, backed the Freight Rail Shipping Fair Market Act to “hold the freight rail industry accountable” and give the Surface Transportation Board regulatory agency more money and power to push back against “consolidation and Wall Street pressures.” REPUBLICANS 'PROFOUNDLY CONCERNED' FOR PUBLIC SAFETY AFTER BIDEN PULLS AIR MARSHALS FROM FLIGHTS Rep. Sam Graves (MO), the ranking Republican member on the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, and its presumptive chairman in the 118th Congress, is going to mean less support for the Biden administration. And according to the office of Graves, first elected to the House in...
    For nearly two decades, the Highway 4 bypass has cut right through the Mokelumne Trail in Brentwood, blocking access and forcing pedestrians and cyclists to take a long detour on busy Lone Tree Way to continue on the path. Finally, a bridge being built over the bypass will connect the two trail segments. Years in the making, the bridge will close the gap created two decades ago when Highway 4 was expanded. By connecting the two sides of the Mokelumne Trail, the bridge will offer safe access for cyclists and pedestrians for commuting and recreational travel, according to officials. “When that bridge is put in, you’ll be able to travel from the Bay Area all the way out to the Sierra Nevada,” Brentwood Mayor Joel Bryant said. “There’s a pretty extensive trail system that this connects to already.” The Mokelumne Trail runs from the Martinez Regional Shoreline to the north, Oakland to the west, and Brentwood to the east passing through Antioch. It is part of the larger five-segment Mokelumne Coast to Crest Trail system, which when completed, will stretch...
    Q: Please suggest what one should do when they know someone should no longer be driving, due to age or health complications. During conversations in the last few years with someone, I kindly encouraged her to stop driving after she shared many stories about “near misses” and damage or totaling her car(s) due to poor eyesight. Family members continued to let her drive. The inevitable happened. She hit a bicyclist and injured them! This, of course, “shook her” and now she said she will no longer drive. But I wonder? I regret not having this direct conversation with one of her adult children (they also knew her history) or contacting the DMV. Anonymous A: Losing one’s ability to drive is never easy, nor is addressing the issue with loved ones when it is dangerous for them to continue to drive, whatever the reason. AARP advises talking with them about it, and making a plan. And observe as a passenger when the driver in question is driving. As for reporting an unsafe driver to the DMV, you can do that in...
    Q: I read yet another answer of yours about damaged sensors. Some intersections use wire loops buried in the roadway and some use cameras mounted with the traffic lights. Out of curiosity, how do they decide which to use? The wire loops clearly require more maintenance based on the number of times they are mentioned in your articles. Jim Bodwin, Cupertino A: Traffic signals in San Jose primarily use two sources of vehicle detection, inductive loops and video detection. Inductive loops, embedded in the pavement, send an electric signal to the traffic controller when a vehicle passes or arrives at an intersection. While loops are great at detecting vehicles, they are susceptible to being damaged by normal pavement wear and tear and by construction projects. It can take some time to fully repair faulty detection with these more traditional detectors. Video detection is newer technology, and is slowly replacing the pavement-embedded sensors. Some of the benefits of video detection equipment are that repairs can be made faster, and this equipment can observe real-time traffic conditions. The cameras used for this...
    Q: We were driving to Lake Tahoe on Interstate 80 during one of the winter’s first snowstorms and were amazed at the number of vehicles we saw slide out of control. Most seemed to be SUVs. Why that would be the case? Nancy P. A: Many years ago Caltrans told me that SUV drivers going over the Sierra on snowy highways can create a big headache for them. Stan-the-Caltrans-Snow-Man explained that many SUV drivers drive too fast for snowy road conditions. “I’d love to work with agencies that create ads for four-wheel-drive vehicles crashing through snow banks and driving up slopes. That’s fiction. There’s no way that (SUVs) perform like that in snow conditions. We’ve been trying to get that message out for years, but it falls on deaf ears.” Q: Prematurely reducing traffic lanes (such as by taking the road down to one lane at Applegate) causes more problems than it solves. Caltrans may be contributing to road rage unnecessarily (and unintentionally) by making some traffic problems worse. A better solution would be to educate naive drivers via road...
    Q: I have a driving-in-snow tip: Do NOT drive in snow. Stay home and keep warm. Better still, sell your car. You should get a good price in the current market. Mike Smith A: Those ideas might work for people who can avoid driving in winter weather. For others who must, or want to drive in snowy conditions, the biggest advice I can offer is: Go slow. Go slow. Go slow. Here are more tips for winter driving from the National Safety Council and AAA: Have your car checked to make sure it’s ready for winter driving. Keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid gas line freeze. Keep your car’s emergency preparedness kit fully stocked. Keep external camera lenses and side view mirrors clean and free of snow. To prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, never leave a vehicle running in your garage – even with the garage door up. If the forecast looks iffy, wait out the storm if possible; if you must travel, share your travel plans and route with someone before you leave. Avoid using...
    Q: We’re supposed to get rain again soon. Too often I see cars driving too fast when the road is slippery. Can you provide tips for safe driving in rainy weather? Anonymous, San Jose A: Rain after a long dry spell can make roads slick. That’s because oil and grease accumulate on the road during dry parts of the year, and come to the surface all at once with the first rains of the fall, which can make roads treacherous. If slick road conditions catch you by surprise, or if you are driving too fast, you could end up in a crash. Here are tips for driving in rainy weather: Slow down, be cautious. Give yourself more time. Lowering your speed helps you watch out for sudden stops caused by disabled cars, debris and other hazards. Turn on your headlights to improve visibility. Disengage your cruise control. Keep your distance. A car needs two to three times more stopping distance on wet roads. Replace wiper blades regularly. Make sure your defroster is functioning properly, especially if you haven’t used...
    One more day when we break Roadshow’s normal Q&A format, and again, for a good cause. Today we salute more state workers who performed heroically as they saved others, often at great personal risk. Governor Gavin Newsom recently presented four Caltrans employees the Governor’s State Employee Medal of Valor Award. It is the highest honor California bestows on its public servants. Since Governor Edmund G. Brown Sr. presented the first awards in 1959, more than 700 state employees have earned the honor for their courage and selflessness in the face of danger. Here are the stories of the four Caltrans workers who were recently honored: Caltrans highway maintenance leadworker Matthew Pina received the Medal of Valor for saving a man’s life by dissuading him from jumping off the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge in January 2021. Pina had heard a report of an abandoned car on the Bay Bridge and went to investigate. He could not find anyone near the car, so he began driving back and forth until he spotted a young man who had climbed over the railing and...
    Q: Interstate 680 over the Sunol Grade is badly in need of resurfacing. Is there any hope of new pavement soon? Bob P., Fremont A: Yes. Work will begin in December to repave Interstate 680, starting in the Sunol area, then working northward. It is part of a major improvement project between Koopman Road in Sunol and Acosta Boulevard in San Ramon. The full project is expected to last about a year and a half. For the first section of the work starting in December, Caltrans will close northbound Interstate 680 overnight from the junction of 680 and Highway 84 to the Sunol Boulevard exit. They anticipate completing this section in April 2023. For this section, lanes of northbound I-680 will be closed from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Monday through Friday. Weekend closures are not anticipated, barring unforeseen circumstances. All work is weather-dependent. Caltrans is aware that the closures will impact drivers and is working to minimize the inconvenience. California Highway Patrol officers and message signs will guide motorists to the changes in traffic during construction. Detours for the...
    It’s been 159 years since trains first ran from San Francisco to San Jose. Now the oldest continually operating rail line west of the Mississippi is on the verge of a 21st-century transformation. Caltrain’s brand new electrified trains are in the Bay Area, and passersby might catch a glimpse of the gleaming red and white fleet quietly sailing through Silicon Valley on test runs. By late 2024, these trains will phase out the agency’s loud and polluting diesel locomotives on the 51-mile stretch to San Jose’s Tamien Station In their place are 19 trains built by a Swiss company that set up shop in the windswept plains of Salt Lake City. Eventually, passengers will glide up the Peninsula, with a power outlet at every seat, LCD screen maps, and a coveted baby changing station. It’s part of a green vision of Bay Area train travel akin to the sleek rail systems in Europe. “Here you have Swiss design,” said Dietmar Schwarz, who helped design the trains and visited them during an event at San Jose’s Diridon station on Tuesday. “And...
    Today’s column is a partial reprint of past columns about how to best avoid collisions with deer. Deer mating season runs from September through November, with the peak in October. Q: Before COVID-19, I often went camping and fishing in Lassen and Plumas national forests with my best friend, who lives in Paradise. Locals in that area swear by deer whistles, which are readily available at auto parts stores. I have used them on my truck for a long time and they seem to work (knock on wood!). A: I’m certain many agree with you, but a Washington State report concluded that more accidents were recorded after deer whistles were installed on cars than before. There are about 6,000 roadkill incidents a year in California. The Bay Area has the most hot spots for wildlife carcasses and crashes in the state, with Interstate 280 the No. 1 road for these incidents. Highway 101 in Marin County and Interstates 580 and 680 are also high on the list. What about Highway 17? This from Dave-the-Retired-CHP-Man: “When I switched from driving a...
    Q: The wooden cows along Highway 101 were put there by George Kukar, owner of San Jose’s House of Pizza. Before the cows, there was a herd of sheep. Carmen Connolly, San Jose A: Mystery solved. George and his wife, Jill, have been popular for three decades with thousands of Highway 101 commuters who pass the family land in south San Jose where George posts signs and these wooden creatures. The search began with a reader’s question about the wooden cows, saying he’d like to buy one for his wife, who loves cows. George wrote to tell us more. Q: I started putting signs on the freeway when Jill and I were dating. We just celebrated our 29th wedding anniversary. Two of our children were married this year and my youngest is attending college, so I have no money, but I’m a rich man. George Kukar A  Indeed, you are. Here’s a link to past stories about George, Jill, and their lives over the years, as reflected in George’s roadside signs and wooden herds: Flashback: George, Jill and the Highway 101 sheep...
    A new report is shedding light on the origin of Republicans' tactic of transporting migrants to Democratic-run states. The New York Times' Maggie Haberman and Michael C. Bender laid out their arguments in a new piece. They noted the series of events that have transpired over the last several weeks. "In recent weeks, the three governors — Greg Abbott of Texas, Ron DeSantis of Florida and Doug Ducey of Arizona — have been criticized for treating desperate migrants fleeing Venezuela and other countries as political pawns," Haberman and Bender wrote. "Migrants have been sent to blue cities, states, and even vacation spots where local officials were caught by surprise and lacked a support network for people seeking refuge." READ MORE: Ron DeSantis transporting asylum seekers to Martha’s Vineyard was 'clearly not a state action' “The immigration policies of the Trump administration are now the baseline even for Republican congressional leadership and Republican candidates across the country,” said former Trump administration official, John A. Zadrozny. The writers pointed to a political practice that dates back to the 1960s. ...
    Q: Recently I was tagged on Interstate 80 for not moving over to the left lane to give maximum space to a highway patrol car whose officer had pulled a motorist over on the right shoulder and had its lights flashing. It’s my first moving violation since 1978. The officer was not in any mood to let me off with a warning and slapped me with a $195 ticket. When I asked how long this rule had been on the books, he replied about seven years and said that it has been spreading from state to state. I couldn’t help but speculate he was lingering near the other traffic stop to snag motorists like me who haven’t become aware of this change. Every January, I read the Mercury’s article listing new laws on the books, but I sure don’t recall this one. What’s the best way to stay abreast of new motoring laws? Bill Ulibarri, San Jose A: Go to the DMV Handbook for all current laws. The DMV highlights significant changes in laws there; it also does so in...
    Q: I commute up Highway 101 to 85 to 87 and back to 101 in the mornings and have noticed that there is so much trash in the center divide and on shoulders on these routes. Whose job is it to remove this junk? It’s more than cans and food wrappers. It’s also old tires, car bumpers, chairs, old Weber grills, and other big pieces of junk lining these freeways. This is an embarrassment and one would think with the surplus in Sacramento, they’d earmark some of it to be used to clean up the trash before rain comes for real, when lots of that trash will wash into storm drains and out to the ocean. Is there a specific entity we can push to get this done? M.J. Braverman A: Our freeways are getting trashy again, but there is light ahead. Caltrans is embarking on a three-year $1.1 billion clean-up effort. Beginning on Monday in Santa Clara County, Caltrans will do a massive cleanup on Interstate 280 from Stelling Road in Cupertino to Bird Avenue in San Jose. This will...
    Q: We take our dog (Shimmi) everywhere. When we leave her in the car, we put our Tesla 3 AC system on DOG. This displays a message for passersby on Tesla’s screen saying, “My owner will be back soon. Don’t worry! The heater [or AC] is on and it’s XX degrees.” This message explains to them that the pet is safe in the car, and the owner is in the vicinity. Our dog falls asleep in front of the rear AC vent, which is blowing fresh cooled or heated air during our absence. The cabin overheat prevention system waits until the interior gets up to 100 degrees, way too hot for an animal. Irwin Joseph, Beaverton, Oregon A: A number of readers with Teslas wrote to applaud the dog mode function on their cars. Read on. Q: If the concerned citizens would have looked at the large screen in the Tesla center dash, they would have seen the message, “My owner will be back soon,” with the current temperature inside the car in large numbers, easily readable from outside the car....
    Q: Most West Coast drivers do not know how to use a roundabout because it is a relatively new concept here (the last 20-30 years). That little roundabout at the Santa Clara Costco is potentially dangerous, but it does move traffic better than the 4-way stop that they previously had. Harvey Fong, San Jose A: Mrs. Roadshow has also commented about people’s confusion about driving roundabouts, including the one at the Coleman Costco. She noticed Harvey’s comment, and others here, on a NextDoor thread. More roundabouts are on their way. We need to clear up the confusion so people drive them safely. Q: For the Coleman Costco, if people knew how a roundabout works, it wouldn’t be a problem. When I was there, people flooded it, even though there wasn’t anywhere to go – it was backed up on the way to get gas. They blocked EVERYONE else, which led to a long delay. I know it’s petty, but I made a recommendation to the greeter that they should have a traffic director with a pool noodle, and smack cars that...
    Electric planes will join Air Canada’s fleet as the airline takes steps to become a greener company. Air Canada announced Thursday that it had ordered 30 ES-30 electric-hybrid aircraft from Heart Aerospace of Sweden with a projected date of service set for 2028. The airline also gained a $5 million equity stake in Heart Aerospace. OREGON TO SPEND $100 MILLION ON CHARGING STATIONS IN HOPES OF ATTRACTING EV DRIVERS “The introduction into our fleet of the ES-30 electric regional aircraft from Heart Aerospace will be a step forward to our goal of net-zero emissions by 2050," Air Canada President and CEO Michael Rousseau said in a statement. "Already, Air Canada is supporting the development of new technologies, such as sustainable aviation fuels and carbon capture, to address climate change. We are now reinforcing our commitment by investing in revolutionary electric aircraft technology, both as a customer for the ES-30 and as an equity partner in Heart Aerospace." The ES-30 planes are expected to seat 30 passengers in a two-by-one configuration and fly as...
    The nation’s freight railroads, a crucial lifeline of the U.S. economy, teetered on the brink of a massive strike Wednesday over staff cuts that have led to what unions call brutal working conditions for the remaining rail conductors and engineers. Bargaining between the railroads and 12 unions, ongoing since 2019, came to a head in recent months. President Biden convened an emergency panel that recommended pay increases but failed to address union concerns over burnout, scheduling and sick pay. Federal law requires a 30-day “cooling off” period that expires Friday just after midnight Eastern time. Biden has been calling both sides, and Labor Secretary Marty Walsh hosted talks Wednesday in an effort to avoid a strike or a lockout. Passengers disembark from the Amtrak Pacific Surfliner in Anaheim on Wednesday.(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times) If they fail, as many as 125,000 rail workers led by the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, and the transportation division of the International Assn. of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers, could walk off the job Friday. Under the Railway...
    A: My husband and I commuted on BART daily about 20 years ago. Since then, we have ridden BART periodically. Last Thursday we had our most miserable ride ever. It started out fine at Antioch station around 5 p.m. We got off at the Pittsburg transfer station and noticed a crowd of people waiting to get on. It was about 110 degrees. A fellow passenger commented that the people waiting to board looked like zombies. We soon discovered why. Jennifer Young A: Tell me more. Q: We ended up waiting in the 110-degree heat for 20, if not 30 minutes. We could not clearly hear updates because of the hot wind, and the board that shows how long it will be until the next train was not functioning. When we finally boarded the SF-bound train, we realized the air conditioning was not working. We were sweating profusely and would have turned around, if it wouldn’t have meant missing the Lady Gaga concert we were going to. We talked about going home or getting an Uber/Lyft, but it was too late to...
    Q: Why do CHP, police, fire and municipalities vehicles sit and idle all the time? Modern cars are made well, so it can’t be a function of them not starting. It adds air pollution and wastes fuel. I don’t get it. Paul Yamshon, San Ramon A: In many cases, there’s necessary equipment in the vehicle that can continue to run only if the vehicle is idling. There are also other factors. For example, police wear bulletproof vests that can weigh 25-30 pounds. Keeping the air conditioning on means they avoid the discomfort of getting into a hot car with heavy gear. Q: My older BMW has a manual transmission, making it easy to turn the motor off at long traffic lights, saving gas and preventing smog. However, the headlights turn off as well, and I get many helpful headlight flashes or horn toots until I restart. Thanks to all, but it isn’t necessary, as the car tells when a light is out. David Roland A: Good to know. Q: If you drive 237 to 880, just before Dixon Landing at the metering light...
    Q: A friend for whom English is a second language must take a knowledge test in order to renew his California driver’s license. I helped him study the English version of the DMV Study Guide, because the guide is not available in his language. He aced all five online practice exams. But here’s the problem: The questions at the DMV were different, and he failed his first exam. Now, he is extremely leery of taking the exam again. I understand why. Do you know if there are other ways to prepare for the knowledge test? I’m happy to continue helping him. He speaks and understands English well. But those 50 pre-exam questions were nearly useless. Any ideas? Terah James A: For those renewing a license with a knowledge test requirement, the DMV offers multiple options. In addition to the standard in-person knowledge test taken at a DMV office, the DMV also offers a remote version of the traditional knowledge test and an interactive eLearning course. (The online options must be chosen after filling out the online driver’s license application and paying the...
    Q: I completely agree with your response to David Comney about the fast lane. Slower drivers should always move over and allow faster drivers to pass. That is the safe thing to do and it’s the law in many countries. But let’s now review slow lane etiquette. A fast driver should not pressure slow drivers when trying to use the slow lane as a passing lane (which happens way too often on Highway 17). If I’m driving the speed limit in the slow lane, leaving space ahead of me in case traffic stops, a fast driver should not ride my tail to try to speed me up so they can pass someone in the fast lane. I’ve chosen to go the speed limit and am in the slow lane. If there is a road boulder in the fast lane, then that is a fast driver’s problem, not mine. Don’t endanger me by riding my tail in the slow lane because you’re frustrated with the fast lane. Anna Durante, Aptos A: You raise some very good points. What do others advise...
    Q: I have an ongoing debate with a friend about moving to the right in the fast lane when a faster car approaches from the rear. She believes that as long as she is going the speed limit, she does not have to move to the right when a faster car approaches from behind. I believe that “moving to the right,” even when driving at the speed limit, promotes safety and assists the flow of traffic. Can you enlighten us with your thoughts on the matter? David Conmy, San Jose A: You win the debate. My thoughts are consistent with what the DMV instructs in the “Traffic Speeds” section of its Driver Handbook: “Driving slower than other vehicles or stopping suddenly can be just as dangerous as speeding, if not more dangerous, because you may cause a rear-end collision or cause other drivers to swerve to avoid hitting your vehicle. If you are in the fast lane and you notice vehicles moving to the right lane to pass you, or a line of vehicles is forming behind you, the best...
    When Los Angeles shuttered its last streetcar in 1963, the Bay Area was already planting the seeds of BART, the expansive rail system that embodies a common refrain in the longstanding competition between Southern and Northern California: Angelenos are gas-guzzlers stuck in parking-lot traffic, while the Bay Area has built an enviable transit network. But over the past two and a half years, the Bay Area’s claim to California’s mass transit throne has been deeply eroded, if not undone. L.A. now has more people riding buses, light rails and trains than the Bay Area. And even when accounting for the Bay Area’s far smaller population, L.A.’s per-capita transit ridership temporarily surpassed its Northern California neighbor for the first time in at least two decades. How big was the turnaround? In 2019, transit riders in six Bay Area counties took 43 million more trips than L.A. County, which is over a third larger by population. But in 2021, Los Angeles racked up over 83 million more transit trips than the Bay Area – a staggering threefold reversal, according to a Bay...
    Imagine this—sans emissions.Brandon Sloter/Image of Sport/AP Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.The movement to electrify the nation’s automotive fleet took a huge step forward this week when a group of California air regulators voted to ban gas-powered cars by 2035.  California, the nation’s largest auto market, plans to require that all new cars sold in the state be emissions-free by 2035. Currently, about 16 percent of new cars sold in the state are electric. California will have to boost that number to 35 percent by 2026, and to 68 percent by 2030. And at least a dozen other states are expected to follow suit. “That regulation is ambitious, and is on par with what is necessary to encourage rapid transition of the economy towards cars that are electrified,” Yonah Freemark, a senior research associate in the Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center at the Urban Institute, told me. California’s announcement, in concert with the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act, signals a major milestone in the goal of slashing emissions...
    On Thursday, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg announced that the Biden-Harris administration has awarded three Tennessee infrastructure projects a total of $64 million from the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) program. Today, we announced the biggest investment in communities in the history of the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) program. https://t.co/Rrhe9S1iPp #RAISEGrants pic.twitter.com/H1b7UaBhyH — TransportationGov (@USDOT) August 11, 2022 According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, the RAISE program was made “to help urban and rural communities move forward on projects that modernize roads, bridges, transit, rail, ports, and intermodal transportation and make our transportation systems safer, more accessible, more affordable, and more sustainable.” One of the projects, receiving $23.4 million in funding in the Volunteer State, is in the city of Morristown, called the “Complete Streets and Its Traffic Signal Coordination Project.” The project will narrow the roadway from four to three lanes, add sidewalks, multi-use path, landscaping, lighting, signage on SR343/ S. Cumberland St.; as well as updating approximately 13 traffic signals through ITS Traffic Signal Coordination. The second project,...
    Secretary of the Department of Transportation Pete Buttigieg delivers remarks on new transportation initiatives at an event with U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris in the South Court Auditorium at Eisenhower Executive Office Building on March 07, 2022 in Washington, DC.Anna Moneymaker | Getty Images The Department of Transportation said on Friday that Steven Cliff, the head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, plans to leave the agency in September after three months in the top job. Ann Carlson, the chief counsel of NHTSA, will take over Cliff's duties, U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg told CNBC in a statement. Cliff, who became head of NHTSA in early June, is leaving to helm the California Air Resources Board, a climate agency focused on reducing air pollution in the state. CARB announced on Friday that Cliff was appointed as its next CEO, after Richard Corey, the prior CEO, retired at the end of June. During his tenure with NHTSA, Cliff worked on new fuel economy standards, and new vehicle safety rules that are intended to increase safety for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians....
    Q: Your readers might like to hear that there’s a great option for charging an EV when dedicated EV chargers aren’t available. It’s RV parking areas. On a recent trip to Quincy, a small town in the Sierras, about an hour north of Truckee, I planned to recharge at my AirBnB, having called ahead. When I arrived, I was delighted to find that the RV parking at the local fairgrounds had 220V outlets at every parking spot. These outlets were always on. Best of all, they supported multiple 3-pin and 4-pin plugs. I plugged in and charged up, as I do at home. While these aren’t the fast-charging stations that you need for a quick stop, they are great as a backup option. Joe Longo, Saratoga Q: There are electric cars with 5-minute refueling – cars that store their electricity in the form of hydrogen, rather than in the form of chemical batteries. Models are available from Toyota, Honda and Hyundai. There are hydrogen fueling stations all over California. Chris Peeples A: You can expect more hydrogen stations to be available down...
    Q: I am angry because you refer to “next Thursday” in your column, and here in the East Bay, we don’t get your column on Thursday or Tuesday or Sunday. When I lived in San Jose, I used to get it every single day that you publish it. Please, can you do something about it? I get half the news with you and I can’t see what happened on Thursday or Tuesday. Jim Sullivan, Brentwood A: As an East Bay Times print subscriber, as long as your subscription plan includes digital access – most do – and you have activated that access, you will have unlimited access to all Roadshow columns online. You can find those at www.EastBayTimes.com/tag/mr-roadshow. If you find you are blocked by a popup asking you to subscribe, click the Subscriber Log In link on the popup and sign in with the credentials associated with your subscription account. If you need assistance, contact subscriberservices@bayareanewsgroup.com. East Bay Times subscribers can also use their credentials to log in to MercuryNews.com, MarinIJ.com and SantaCruzSentinel.com. Q: I lived in San Jose...
    Submit your letter to the editor via this form. Read more Letters to the Editor. Reintroducing grizzlies wrong call for state Re. “Californians have a very unusual way of showing affection for grizzly bears,” Page A6, Aug. 3: Reintroducing grizzly bears to California is a really bad idea. It is no coincidence that those who support such a naive idea are not the ones who would have to live with them. There are now between 30,000 and 40,000 black bears in the state, and one of the reasons for this population increase is the expansion into former grizzly habitat by black bears. The reintroduction of grizzlies will create a horrible conflict – one that we would have created. If we can’t keep black bears from breaking into houses in Tahoe to raid refrigerators then how do you think it will be when an 800-pound grizzly wants to eat your peanut butter? Think it through. Peter Calimeris Pleasant Hill Immigrant parolee deserves Biden’s help I am the daughter of refugees. I urge Gov. Gavin Newsom to grant a pardon to Phoeun...
    Q: I’m 72 years old and love new technology, though don’t understand most of it. Friends my age don’t even want to try. You must want to learn it, and accept the learning curve that goes with it. Rob Robie A: I admire your spirit and learning perseverance. Q: I LOVE the Intelligent Cruise Control that was included in the suite of safety features in my 2020 Kia Optima. I use it whenever I can, about 80 percent of the time. I use it on all roads, from freeways to residential streets. I set it for 72 mph on the freeway. If everyone ahead of me is going 72 or more, I stay at 72. If traffic ahead slows, my car slows and matches their speed. The car comes to a complete stop if the car in front of me stops, which happens more with non-freeway driving. There are limitations, and it requires a learning curve to feel comfortable with it. Related Articles Transportation | Calls for speed cameras hit another legal speed bump: Roadshow Transportation | What...
    Q: I would appreciate if you could talk more about the changes along Hillsdale between Highway 87 and Camden. Cong Nguyen, San Jose A: You’re not the only one who wants more information about the controversial changes along Hillsdale. Q: There are lots of new driving/biking/parking markings on Hillsdale Ave. between Almaden Expressway and Camden. What is confusing is the swapping places of the biking and parking lanes. For most of this stretch, parking is at the curb and biking is to the left with a striped buffer between bikers and traffic. But here and there, the bike lane is next to the curb and parking is between the bikers and traffic lanes. If anyone actually parks there, especially at night, they will appear to be parking in the middle of the road and risk being rear-ended by cars traveling at 40+ mph!!! I know there are areas like this in downtown San Jose, but the speed limit is much lower, and there is one traffic lane. I think it would be much safer for the markings to be consistent for...