Dear Street Smarts,
Q: The portion of East Cliff Drive, from the new Pleasure Point Park eastward has a designated bike lane striped and marked one way east. Why wasn’t it stripped for two way bike riding as was Beach Street in front of the Boardwalk? As a bike rider who follows your admonition to follow traffic laws, I am at a loss of how to travel westward: Do I ride against traffic in the bike lane? Do I ride on the pedestrian sidewalk? Or am I forbidden to return homeward from Capitola on East Cliff Drive, requiring traveling on heavily trafficked Portola Drive?
Bill Patterson, Santa Cruz
A: “In regard to providing bike access along East Cliff Drive, for bikes travelling westbound from 41st Avenue to 32nd Avenue, there have always been signs directing bikes at the Hook parking lot area to cross East Cliff Drive to the ocean side and use the two-way path — either the old one with the white delineators or the new separated paved path,” said Jack Sohriakoff, senior civil engineer for county public works. “When bicyclists get to 32nd Avenue, there is a sign directing them to cross East Cliff Drive again. This allows westbound bicyclists to ride along the cliffs throughout the one-way eastbound segment of East Cliff Drive.”
Q: Perhaps it’s time for a yield versus merge lesson. Exiting southbound Highway 1 onto Soquel Avenue is probably the worst. Merge is what you do when you go from two lanes to one or enter a freeway. Ease in between cars as space allows or every other car. Yield means wait until there is a break in traffic, not every other car. Cars coming from 17th Ave toward Soquel have the right of way governed by a light. If they have the green, cars coming off Highway 1 need to wait for a break or the light to turn green, not try and squeeze in every other car.
Allison Niday via email
A: Sounds like you have a pretty good grasp on traffic law. For further clarification of merge versus yield, check out the California Driver Handbook, which is available online at www.dmv.ca.gov. Too busy to read the driver handbook? Listen to it at http://dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/?1dmy&urile=wcm:path:/dmv_content_en/dmv/pubs/audio. The files can be played on any MP3 player and MP#3 player program as well as burned onto a CD.