Signal light placement has drivers seeing the wrong color, reader says

Dear Street Smarts, Q: Love your column. I learn a lot each time I read it. The traffic lights in front of the Silver Spur Restaurant: There are two sets of lights within 25 meters. They are so close, often drivers fail to see the first light and take off when the second light turns green. Is there a some way to make the sequence of the lights more driver friendly? Thanks, Annie Tokarz, via email A: Your request is going to have to wait, "for now," said Jack Sohriakoff, senior civil engineer for county public works. The signal heads at Soquel Drive at Dover Drive and Mattison Lane are lined up so that motorists cannot see the lights at the next intersection, he said. However, the size of a driver's vehicle is what actually determines what drivers see, he added. "There are many types and sizes of vehicles that we must accommodate from garbage trucks and semis to Porches," said Sohriakoff. "There will be some overlap in vision of these lights depending on what kind of vehicle you are driving." Your request will have to wait because after nearly four years of operation, yours in the first complaint he has received regarding this issue, he said. "I can't justify the need to adjust these based upon one complaint -- and it is somewhat complex and expensive," said Sohriakoff. "So, I will hold off for now." AARP Driver Safety Program readies for February courses Older drivers interested in the latest traffic laws and the ways aging impacts their driving abilities can sign up for AARP Driver Safety Program courses offered in Santa Cruz and Watsonville. Below are the dates, times and locations of courses offered in early February.
  • 12:30 p.m. Saturdays, Feb. 4 and 11 at the Louden Nelson Senior Center, 301 Center St., Santa Cruz. Total class time: 8 hours.
  • 12:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 6 and Tuesday, Feb. 7 at the Watsonville Adult Education campus, 294 Green Valley Road, Watsonville.
Completing the course may make participants eligible for a discount of up to 10 percent on their automobile insurance among participating insurers. Participants must attend both days – a total of eight hours – listed at each site to get the discount. Meanwhile, a four hour refresher course is offered 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 18 at the Louden Nelson Senior Center, 301 Center St., Santa Cruz. Cost is $12 for AARP members and $14 for non-members. The course is also offered online for $15.95 for AARP members and $19.95 for non-members. To register for the AARP Driver Safety course in Santa Cruz, call (831) 426-6472; in Watsonville, call (831) 724-1873. For information or to take the course online, visit
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One Response to Signal light placement has drivers seeing the wrong color, reader says

  1. Mikemurrow says:

    Re: signal light. This may be the first complaint but I work near this intersection and almost daily see a near accident because of the lights. Why can’t they just set the lights to turn green at the same time?

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