Caltrans resuming trash pickup this week on 280: Roadshow

Q: I commute up Highway 101 to 85 to 87 and back to 101 in the mornings and have noticed that there is so much trash in the center divide and on shoulders on these routes. Whose job is it to remove this junk?

It’s more than cans and food wrappers. It’s also old tires, car bumpers, chairs, old Weber grills, and other big pieces of junk lining these freeways.

This is an embarrassment and one would think with the surplus in Sacramento, they’d earmark some of it to be used to clean up the trash before rain comes for real, when lots of that trash will wash into storm drains and out to the ocean.

Is there a specific entity we can push to get this done?

M.J. Braverman

A: Our freeways are getting trashy again, but there is light ahead. Caltrans is embarking on a three-year $1.1 billion clean-up effort. Beginning on Monday in Santa Clara County, Caltrans will do a massive cleanup on Interstate 280 from Stelling Road in Cupertino to Bird Avenue in San Jose. This will involve a daytime lane closure. Allow extra time if you will be driving this route this week.

Q: Highway trash is disgraceful. We see it especially on Highways 84 and 880. What has happened to Community Service trash collection? With a budget surplus, can we please clean up roadsides?

I acknowledge that this is a first-world issue that pales in comparison to other matters. And while you may have little impact on the nation’s major social and political issues and foreign affairs, this is something you can address that will be of immediate benefit to our community.

Jon Richards, Palo Alto

A: You’re right about the problem, and Governor Newsom is listening.

As part of clean-up efforts, Caltrans is expanding the Clean California incentive program statewide, offering up to $250 per month to Adopt-A-Highway volunteers who pick up litter along state highways.

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