Why push to end the truck ban on I-580 in Oakland?

Q: Last week, a friend of hers was at 580 near Edwards Street when she broke her tire. The truck driver told her it was his third apartment at that location that day. She took her car to a nearby Subaru dealer, and they told her that six more cars had stopped at that exit, all with punctured tires.

Her punctured tire doesn’t look like a stud, but a sort of (as she called it) a “growth.” She is now afraid to drive on 580. Is something strange happening? Not sure who or how anyone can check this, but I think I’ll ask.

Virginia Preston

A: Most likely it was nails or other sharp objects. The highway was cleared to remove whatever caused all those punctured tires.

Q: Why is Nate Miley, the Alameda County superintendent, pushing a review of the truck ban on Highway 580? It will only destroy another highway. Traffic is bad enough on the 580 already.

Konrad Malavazos

A: This is why Miley wants to review the ban that has been in place since 1951.

The Environmental Defense Fund found that concentrations of harmful pollutants from diesel exhaust were significantly higher in neighborhoods along I-880 than in those along I-580. Black carbon concentrations were about 80% higher, nitrogen dioxide concentrations 60% higher, and nitric oxide more than doubled concentrations.

The current ban covers 8.7 miles from Foothill Boulevard to Grand Avenue. It remains one of fewer than a dozen bans in the country on a US highway.

We now turn to the truck problems at Nasty Nimitz, which many large excavators are forced to use because they can’t get to the nearby 580.

Q: I’m traveling on Interstate 880 from Oakland to Fremont at 6 a.m., and the left lanes are constantly full of semi-transport and tankers. Shouldn’t they use the right lanes? I get that by the time we get to Hayward Clog, where it narrows down to three main lanes, the trucks may be in the left lanes, but that’s the way before those exits. This results in some dangerous situations.

Page House, Auckland

A: There are so many trucks on the 880 that they sometimes have no choice but to try to pass large, slowly moving platforms using a lane farther to the left.

Q: For gas prices, how does 33 cents per gallon sound? My father complained about his height in the fifties of the last century. He was happiest when “price wars,” anything from the 1950s, brought the price down to 25 cents, 20 cents, and even 16 cents a gallon at competing stations.

I’ll turn 75 in January, and I remember that well. Don’t get me started on the Burmese shaving signs!

Jackie T, Richmond

A: Oh, the good days.

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