Dear Street Smarts,
Q: I found it interesting that in your column, Thursday, Oct. 4, nothing was mentioned about the left turn from Clares Street onto 41st Avenue coming from Trader Joe’s. This also changed in July. Now, it’s not allowed for cars to make the left turn onto 41st Avenue from the far right lane. There are very small signs on the side of the road saying ‘no left turn from the right lane, but every time I travel through this intersection, I see at least 90 percent of the cars still turning left from the far right lane! It makes it very dangerous for those of us who are in the middle lane who have to move over to the right lane quickly if we are going to get onto southbound Highway 1. Are the Capitola Police going to watch that intersection and ticket the cars making the illegal left turn from the far right lane?
Thank you for researching this problem.
Judy Zscheile, Aptos
A: Capitola police officers have been keeping an eye in this intersection and have been writing tickets to people not following the rules – new and old, said Chief Rudy Escalante. While he didn’t have statistics immediately available, “more citations are being written for the left turn,” he said.
As for signage, “We have had temporary ‘Caution No Left Turn from Right Lane’ signs up for two months warning motorist of the change,” said Steve Jesberg, public works director. “These signs were just recently removed.”
There also are arrows painted in that far right lane telling drivers which movements they can make.
What’s more, before the change took place, crews erected an “advance sign showing the lane configuration.”
“We now have three permanent advance signs showing the lane configuration,” Jesberg said. “Also, we changed out the lane assignment signs on the signal mast facing eastbound Clares.”
The moral of this story is: drivers need to pay attention and stop driving like zombies.
AARP Senior Driver course offered three times in November
Santa Cruz County AARP Driver Safety is offering three classes next month.
One 8-hour class will be held in two 4-hour sessions on Thursday, Nov. 1 and Friday, Nov. 2. Plus, two 4-hour renewal classes are offered on Saturday, Nov. 17.
Cost is $12 for AARP members, $14 for non-members and free for veterans and their families the entire month of November.
For class times and location, as well as to register, call Fred Dunn-Ruiz, coordinator, at 426-6472.
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