FasTrak stirs up drivers’ strong emotions: Roadshow

Q: I don’t have sympathy for those who ignore their FasTrak bills. Though toll scanners can’t be 100 percent correct, I think the issue of inaccurate scans and fees is overblown. I think many drivers believe they can ignore tolls with impunity. I was glad to read that this is not the case, that at vehicle registration time, the piper needs to be paid.

I also believe the system design is flawed. The idea that all drivers will do the right thing, and will always stay aware of the fees they are accumulating, is a fantasy. It has put untold bridge toll collectors out of work. There should always be at least one option to pay your toll to a person.

Also, it has turned what used to be lanes for 2 or more drivers into toll roads requiring 3 passengers and a FasTrak device (which may have been left in the family’s other car that morning) to avoid the toll.

I really detest those variable toll amounts. Of course there will be those who challenge whether they entered the toll lane at a different time and at a different price than the bill shows! This system is very irritating, and traffic designers who implemented this system deserve every headache they get trying to enforce this.

Joe Urbassik, Palo Alto

A: Comments on FasTrak flooded into Roadshow after recent columns, and keep rolling in. I will print more soon.

Q: We are heading to LaLa Land soon and were warned by a friend that Interstate 5 is not the way to go because of the massive number of potholes. She drove it last week and said most traffic was using the fast lanes, and that the potholes are out of control.

Highway 101 is longer, but with wildflowers starting to bloom, that route is very appealing.


Cheryl Klynn, Los Altos

A: I-5 potholes are numerous. Caltrans recently filled some, and 101 is a decent option. The wildflowers along the way may tip the balance that direction.