Q I enjoy your 'slant' on Street Smarts and learn something every week. I'm a transplant from the Mercury News where Gary writes daily I think on the same subject. Keep up the good work.Here's the dangerous merge area situation: On Saturday, around 5 p.m., I entered Highway 1 at River Street to go to 41st Avenue. There's one more entrance to Highway 1 where cars enter and its three lanes quickly turn into two, but there is no indication of this upcoming lane merge -- no arrow on the road indicating the lane merges and no sign indicating the lane ends. Because there is a curve just before the lane ends, the entering cars can't see that their lane ends and they will have to merge with the left lane. I was in the left lane Saturday and saw a car enter the Highway at high speed. I guessed the driver didn't know that he/she would have to merge with me and at that speed it wasn't going to happen without a crash, so I slowed down. I've often wondered why there is no indication of this upcoming lane merge. I also think that the northbound lane to enter Highway 17 should have a sign sooner then where it is now to alert drivers that that lane will soon be a right turn only lane. Sometimes there isn't enough time to change lanes before you realize you’re on your way to Highway 17.
Denise Lucy, Capitola
A Thank you for reading Street Smarts, Denise. I forwarded your question to Caltrans and officials there said merge signs are not needed in the areas you speak of because they are ramps. There are merge signs and arrows indicating the need to merge further down, though, officials said.