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Stopping on Laurel Street hill difficult for stick shift drivers, reader says
Dear Street Smarts, Q: Could you ask the city why the top of Laurel Street hill is not timed with the stop lights by Louden Nelson? It used to be that cars would not be stopped there when reaching the stop light at the top of the hill. I notice now we are and it is a little nerve racking driving a stick shift car. Loni Yien A: This traffic signal is located near schools and a state highway, so vehicles must stop on the hill to allow those on California can get to their destinations, including those nearby schools and highway. The light is working properly, according to city officials. In the meantime, have you tried feathering your clutch? It really works in helping your car not roll back when it's time to go forward. Simply practice letting off the clutch until the car doesn't roll back while also applying a little acceleration. Holding both at the perfect amount holds your car still on the hill while also eliminating the roll back factor during that split second it takes you to move your foot from brake to accelerator. You're feet are already in position and simply need to make the adjustment from sitting still to moving forward. I used to drive a stick. The practice didn't burn out my clutch any faster since the accelerator also was engaged. I think of feathering as a different kind of neutral. Hope this helps.