Ah, April. A month that has moved us past the heavy rains of the winters, and allowed work to start on highway repairs. A month that started with significant updates to the highway pages. But that process never ends, and it starts, as always, with more headlines (♠ indicates headlines that were incorporated into the March highway updates):
- ♠ Renters of Caltrans-owned homes in South Pasadena get to buy them $970,000 below market. It’s a modern-day story of David vs. Goliath. Three long-time tenants of homes within the path of the now-defunct, 6.2-mile 710 Freeway extension fought the mighty Caltrans in court and won. After decades of waiting, Angeles Flores, Marysia Wojick and Priscela Izuierdo received an offer from Caltrans last year to buy the homes they’ve been renting for a price that was hundreds of thousands of dollars less than any home on the market in tony South Pasadena, yet at a price that took into account inflation.
- ♠ New transportation tax would focus on new bay crossing. Q: If they ever put a Bay Area-wide sales tax on the ballot, what will the likely projects be? Hopefully, another bridge or BART crossing across the bay.
- ♠ Changes coming to Highway 17 at Big Moody Curve: Roadshow. Q: I drove past another accident last week at 7:45 a.m. near Big Moody Curve on Highway 17. One vehicle had turned over and another was also damaged with all lanes of southbound traffic backed up for miles. Clearly, the sandbags at this location are not an adequate fix of the situation at this dangerous curve.
- ♠ State of emergency: Newsom allots $2 million for Highway 17 firebreak. Ed Orre, chief forester for Cal Fire’s Santa Clara County Unit, has been haunted by images of the main thoroughfare connecting Paradise with the outside world. He can’t help but imagine a similar scenario unfolding on Highway 17 in the hills above Lexington Reservoir.
- ♠ State Route 41 roadway striping project begins, prompting lane closures. The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) announced a roadway striping project beginning Wednesday, April 3, that will result in one-way traffic control and lane closures on several portions of State Route 41 in Kings, Fresno and Madera Counties.
- ♠ The Birth And Life Of The Freeway In Hayes Valley (US 101, Route 480). How do you get around Hayes Valley? Before today’s debates about bike lanes, bulb-outs, parking spaces, taxis and ride-sharing, the answer for many had been a double-decker extension of the Central Freeway that stretched from Octavia into Western Addition. Patricia’s Green and a condo boom have taken the physical space of the concrete spur. But at one time it was the midpoint of twentieth-century freeway dreams – and many controversies.