Santa Cruz has no money for speed bumps; stopping for school buses

Dear Street Smarts, Q: Who do I talk to about getting a speed bump installed on our street? We live on Park Way in Santa Cruz between Almena and Roxas streets. There are currently three speed bumps between Soquel Avenue and Almena, but that's where they end. There are a lot of cars that just fly down Park Way after the stop sign at Almena and after turning onto Park Way from Roxas. There are children living in our neighborhood and cats that have been hit. Where do I start to get the ball rolling on this? Thanks! Linda McNulty, via email A: The city doesn’t have the money to grant your request for speed bumps, said Chris Schneiter, civil engineer with public works. "The residential traffic calming program, which included road bumps as one tool to slow traffic, was eliminated several years ago during the initial round of budget cuts,” he said. “Staffing to study such requests and funds to install approved plans were eliminated. I don’t anticipate that program being re-established any time soon, considering all the other budget constraints.” If there was money, staff would study the potential speed bump site and survey nearby residents about their thoughts on having one installed. Installing one speed bump costs around $3,000, Schneiter said. The work includes signs and striping. But there is a second option to speed bumps, he added. “We do work closely with the Police Department and I have asked them to look into this area for some spot enforcement," he said. Stopping for school buses The local California Highway Patrol office has been fielding complaints about motorists not yielding the right of way for school buses and their young passengers. In response, officers will conduct a "special enforcement detail" next week to educate drivers about safe travel near school buses. Here's the low down on the law: School buses will often flash yellow lights when they plan to stop and let children off the bus. The yellow flashing lights are a warning that drivers should slow down and prepare to stop. When school buses flash their red lights, located at the top front and back of the bus, drivers in both directions must stop until the students are safely across the street and the lights stop flashing. Failure to stop draws a fine of $1,000 and the suspension of your driver’s license for one year. However, if the school bus is on the other side of a divided roadway or the road has two or more lanes in each direction, drivers don’t have to stop.
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