Reader has advice for highway drivers in Santa Cruz County

Dear Street Smarts, Q: Thank you for the work that you do. It is very appreciated. My concern is the section of Highway 1 from the Fishhook to Soquel Drive. Before the widening, drivers exiting Highway 17 during rush hours, were greeted with stopped traffic just around the corner, causing more than a few adrenaline palpitations. Now, drivers coming through the 'S-curve' suddenly have a quarter mile strait shot with two lanes merging into one just before joining Highway 1 south. This road design encourages drivers to push 65 mph as quickly as possible. A similar design does the same thing for drivers coming around the curve from the River Street area. The result is a free-for-all until just south of Morrissey Boulevard where the traffic often comes to a stand still. I believe the road designers would like this Los Angeles style 'super highway' throughout Santa Cruz County but I believe this is unsafe and not in harmony with the community or the interfacing exits, which were designed for a 15 mph exit speed. I feel like I am in a controlled crash situation trying to exit the highway; braking at the last minute to avoid being rear ended by Barney Oldfield, c. 1903. Most drivers are aware of these special road conditions but many speed or tailgate when it is unwarranted and are surprised when the traffic stops unexpectedly. Could you please ask your readers to anticipate changing road conditions and help people like me feel safer on the road? Thanks, Ed Spurr, Capitola A: You just did, Ed. Thank you for your letter offering sound advice. Highway drivers need to take a deep breath, back off the accelerator and look at what's happening on the road aroudn them. This will help them not be surprised by sudden stops or anything else that may happen along the way. Drive safe and have a great holiday weekend, everyone.
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