Roadshow: The votes are in, and readers say the worst roads in the Bay Area are …

Q: Readers who have written about El Camino Real in Mountain View are correct that it is one of the worst roads, and one with so much traffic. When a lot of construction was underway in the last few years here, there were a lot of midday closures, and no repaving when projects were completed. Even when the road was open enough to go the speed limit, at times you wouldn’t dare do so because of raised metal panels, virtual speedbumps, that spanned two or three lanes.

I drive a morning school carpool in a minivan and don’t try to have a conversation with the kids on our El Camino stretch because I can’t hear them over the sounds of the rattling suspension. I can’t wait for any kind of repaving here, in both directions.

Kevin C., Mountain View

A: Here we go…

Q: My vote is for El Camino Real. For some time I have been driving alternate routes to avoid this area.

Alan Templeton

A: And…

Q: 87? El Camino Real? Too many surface streets to mention. But if I have to pick only one, I’ve gotta go with the one road whose name suggests that it should be fit for royalty, good old El Camino Real from Grant Road to Stanford.

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What’s your least favorite roadway in the Bay Area? It could win you $50

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Roadshow: What will be done first, El Camino repaving or bullet train?

So, did I win the $50?

Mark Robichek, Sunnyvale

A: Many people named El Camino Real as the worst road in the Bay Area. These are roads that drivers ranked as the worst, and when repairs are planned. Repairs range from filling potholes and cracks, trimming weeds and trees, all the way up to repaving.

El Camino Real, repairs scheduled for later this year
Highway 87, repairs scheduled for October
680, northbound repairs underway now, southbound repairs later this year
Interstate 880 through Fremont, repairs this fall
Interstate 680 into Contra Costa County, repairs planned for another year or two
Lawrence Expressway, repairs planned for another year or two
Highway 17, repairs planned for next year

Q: Rather than local streets on which I can navigate potholes, I focused on roadways that require one to keep up with the too-fast flow of traffic while dodging axle-breaking impediments. I recently had the misfortune of having to travel south from the Vacaville area to Aptos on Highways 80, 680, 280, and 17. There is no greater collection of potholes, cracked concrete, and uneven road surfaces in the Bay Area. To add insult to injury, the painted lane markers disappear in a rainstorm. I’m not a timid driver, but my last two trips on these freeways were white-knuckle affairs.

Mike Santoro

A: There were other nominees for worst roads and we’ll run a few of those comments another day.

Look for Gary Richards at or contact him at

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