Dear Street Smarts,
Q: I will refrain from opining about the necessity of a no right on red sign at the corner of Clares Street and 41st Avenue in Capitola. However, there is an issue with visibility of the no right on red sign.
My wife and I live off of Clares Street and make the right onto 41st usually several times a day. And every day, we see that there are a significant percentage of people that still turn right onto 41st Avenue from Clares on a red light.
Moreover, when we stop at the red on Clares and 41st, more often than not people behind us will honk in an effort to stimulate us to make the right on a red. In fact, yesterday, Wednesday a driver honked at me and then pulled up alongside of me, rolled down his window, and proceeded to yell at me to make the right on a red.
My speculation is that the people are not intentionally disobeying the law, but rather they cannot see the sign located only on the right hand side of Clares. Capitola needs to install a no right on red sign in a much more conspicuous location.
Mike Griffin, Capitola
A: More signs are on the way soon, said Steve Jesberg, Capitola’s public works director. Meanwhile, his office and that of the police continue to monitor the situation.
Q: I hope you revisit the subject of eastbound Clares and ‘investigate’ for yourself other consequences of the recent change in lane capacity utilization, especially at 40th Avenue. Mr. Jesberg commissioned a quick and low-cost consultant analysis that did not look at the big picture and all consequences. Clares between Capitola Road and 41st Avenue serves an extended commercial area and traffic flow is badly in need of re-evaluation. Access to Clares from over a dozen ‘driveways’ along its route, including the truncated 40th Avenue, is in need of a serious review.
Improving Clares pales in comparison, of course, with the real challenge which is improving the flow of traffic on 41st Avenue for 900 yards north of Clares leaving the city. Unfortunately, planners and elected officials ‘way back when’ did not have the vision or temerity to anticipate 21st century volumes and recognize the total inadequacy of the design that expanded 41st Avenue to its current configuration.
Bill Delaney, Capitola
A: “As I told the Council when they approved the changes, this was a small incremental fix to a very congested area,” said Jesberg. “That doesn’t mean it was incorrect to do, as we realize that these changes will not solve the congestion, but will help the flow of traffic through the intersection. In addition, the police chief’s accident data shows the accident rate at this intersection has declined since the changes were made. As resources are made available to make further improvements to the area, the city will certainly look to implement them.”