Residents near Warren Avenue in Fremont will still hear those horn blasts. (D. Ross Cameron/Staff archives)
Q It’s been a couple of years since the Warren Avenue underpass has been completed in Fremont, and we were told this was finally going to be a quiet zone. But it never happened. We still put up with trains blasting horns 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There are no roads crossing the tracks between Warren Avenue and Grimmer Boulevard.
How much longer do we have to put up with this? We would sure love to sleep without being rudely awakened by train horns.
A Actually, there is still an at-grade crossing of the Union Pacific tracks in this area. When the Valley Transportation Authority built the underpass, it allowed cars on Warren to cross under the tracks (and future BART-to-San Jose tracks). Had that been all that happened, the train horns could stop blowing.
However, there is a private truck transfer facility on the UP property south of Warren where trucks transfer loads to train cars. With the Warren Grade separation in place, the only way for trucks to get to the transfer facility is to cross the tracks north of there. They cross over Warren on their own bridge to get to the facility.
Since there is a street/railroad crossing for these trucks, trains are still required to blow their horns prior to crossing.
Q I have a neighbor who brags how he gets away without paying tolls. He drives a Lexus and for the past four years has not put his license plate on it. He just keeps the registration paperwork attached to the window like new cars come with. He told me without plates they cannot trace the owner of the car.
A That is true, but …
Q I’ve reported two pickups in my neighborhood that have paper dealer tags to the CHP and to Walnut Creek police, and nothing has been done for six months. I overheard the owner say that it lets him blow through FasTrak without concern. What do you suggest?
Walnut Creek driver
A Be patient. Auto dealers will be required to install temporary license plates with identifying information on all newly purchased vehicles starting in 2019.
The Bay Area loses $9 million a year in unpaid tolls by those using paper plates, while Southern California loses $10 million.
Q I got on Interstate 880 at Broadway in Oakland and all of the highway lights for that first stretch are burned out. What a frightening drive! This is particularly treacherous because the retaining wall is so close to traffic and the lanes are narrow.
A Copper thieves were likely at it again. New lights are coming, as well as reflective signs.
Q If BART needs more funds, why not charge higher fares to riders who don’t live in Alameda, Contra Costa and San Francisco counties?
Mark von der Lieth
A Not going to happen. It would be a logistical hassle and not raise that much money.
Look for Gary Richards at Facebook.com/mr.roadshow or contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.