Contact Street Smarts
Road markings, rogue cyclists and pedestrian signs, readers have a lot on their minds
Dear Street Smarts, Q: When driving east on Water Street from downtown, I frequently turn left, north, from Water Street onto Ocean. There is a double turn lane at this intersection and I use the right hand turn lane when turning left. Most of the street dots marking this turn lane are missing and it's difficult to see exactly where the turn lanes are -- especially at night. Who could I contact about having the dots replaced? Patrick, Santa Cruz A: I forwarded your request to the city and it has been added to its road maintenance list, said Chris Schneiter of the public works department. It may take about two to three months for crews to get to it, he said. Q: I was under the impression that bicycle riders must obey the same traffic laws as drivers, such as stopping at red lights and stop signs. I cannot tell you how many times I have seen cyclists breeze through red lights and stop signs, as if they did not see them. I would consider this to be as much of a hazard to a driver as it is to the cyclist. I know that it scares the wits out of me when I'm behind the wheel. I feel like it's a tragedy waiting to happen. Thanks, Sharon Hudson A: Your impression is correct – cyclists are bound to the same rules of the road as cars. That is something this column addresses often. Thank you for continuing the discussion. Q: In regard to a post July 28th: ‘State law does not allow the county to erect signs that instruct motorists to stop for pedestrians in crosswalks, he said.’ What about the red-and-white ‘Stop for Pedestrians’ sign at the entrance to Cabrillo College on Soquel just east of Porter Gulch Road? Just wondering. C.H. A: County traffic engineer Jack Sohriakoff took a look at the signage in the area and said that “there is a large banner attached to the fence behind the sidewalk on the south side of Soquel Drive directly across from the west entrance to Cabrillo College. It is not a formal traffic control sign and I don’t know where it came from.” He reminds motorists to yield for pedestrians, even when there’s a green light. “When motorists get a green light they tend to ignore pedestrians,” he said. “There is a standard sign for that situation at traffic signals. We installed one on Park Avenue at Soquel Drive, as well as in a few locations within Soquel Village. Motorists must yield to pedestrians in crosswalks.” Summit VTA line future uncertain The Santa Clara County Valley Transportation Association will host a meeting Monday, Aug. 10 to talk about the future of the route that serves Summit area residents. The route, which only is deployed during the school year and primarily serves Los Gatos High School students in the mornings and the afternoons, is eyed for reduction in January, the agency said. Monday’s meeting begins at 7 p.m. at the Campbell Community Center on the corner of Winchester and Campbell avenues in Campbell.