We, as commuters, always need to keep an eye out for our changing road conditions and various detours that pop up out of nowhere. Is northbound Interstate 280, through Downtown San Jose, part of your normal route? It is for me, and has been for many years. I have noticed that, in the fast lane, nearing the exit of Leigh and Bascom Avenues begins the deterioration of part of the roadway. If you are traveling in the fast lane, take extra caution to the left of you. Yes, there is the center barrier to protect you from the oncoming traffic, but there is another danger lurking under your tires. The above photo shows a line of deep gashes in the roadway. This is only one set of many in this particular area.
The treacherous part of this route begins just about a mile from the beginning of the carpool lane. The deep grooves that have been worn into the roadway are extremely dangerous if you get a flat tire and have to pull over. (Or even just drift to the left a bit from not having enough morning coffee.) This is where the yellow striping has begun to crumble away. Some of these strips of missing asphalt can catch your tire and not let go. These are very deep gouges and are a hazard for any driver. If for some reason your car breaks down, and you have to park next to the center divider, please be extra careful of these ruts. They will do serious damage to your car or you if you step in one. If you can make it either across traffic safely, or even down just a couple hundred more feet, that would be much safer.
These gouges have been a trouble area for years on this particular strip of highway. It has never been fixed, and as you can see in the photo, there is more rubble than paint stripe in some areas. Again, this is only for the mile prior to the carpool lane, nearing the Highway 17/Interstate 880 merge. After the carpool lane begins, the road and striping are back normal. It is very strange that only the surface under yellow painted line is crumbling away, and not more of the actual roadway.
I travel this route daily and watch the road deteriorate more and more. Maybe someday they will fix this path so we can all travel safely. This part of the road is not even safe for emergency vehicles. Imagine an ambulance getting stuck in the gouge because it was never fixed. That is not something any of us want. Be careful out there!