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“Auto-thrill-show driving” on SF’s Central Freeway!

Caltrans repaving contractors tore up the top layer of asphalt for a one-mile stretch of the Central Freeway in San Francisco this month, in BOTH directions!

The BAD news?

The repaving effort ELIMINATED the lane striping, which has NOT been replaced! SFGate.com says:

As a result, where there were once three official lanes and a shoulder in each direction, now there are five disorderly rows of drivers jostling for position, said Judith Meyers, a financial planner who commutes on the Central Freeway every weekday.

“People just turn it into a literal free-for-all,” Meyers told Chronicle Watch. “It makes the traffic slow down because of how people are when it comes to merging. Just because the sign says ‘merge’ doesn’t mean people will.”

Drivers merging onto the northbound freeway from either Interstate 80 or Highway 101 find that the lane lines disappear into gravely, rough asphalt. Drivers heading south on the free-form freeway are on their own until the I-80 split, when the lanes suddenly appear.

At dawn and dusk (“rush hours”) it can be almost impossible to see where the lanes USED to be!

I’ll bet that it is not easy at NIGHT, either! ;-) SFGate.com continues:

Caltrans officials told Chronicle Watch they started the project to resurface the road and improve drainage in early January. But then the cold snap hit and the contractors were unable to spray the lane paint onto the asphalt, said Steve Williams, an agency spokesman.

“It has been too cold, not for the contractor, but for the paint to be put in place,” he said.

“Ordinarily, we are supposed to have some type of temporary striping,” Williams said. But “you run over it a couple of times and they come off.”

Williams said work has already resumed on the project, which is scheduled to be finished next month.

“The weather has not cooperated,” Williams said. “Our plan is to be out of there by no later than the middle of February.”

If you think that DRIVERS are not happy with the situation, IMAGINE how happy California Highway Patrol folks are! SFGate.com lists the responsible party and contact information as: Bijan Sartipi, Caltrans District Four director, e-mail: bijan_sartipi@dot.ca.gov, phone: (510) 286-5900

-Bill at

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