Bikes, traffic lights and yellow lines

Dear Street Smarts, Q: Thanks for the column on bike theft (Monday, Feb. 18). Of course, the safest bike parking are the bike lockers and at 5 cents an hour it is a great deal. You can use your park card for bike or car parking. Mark Dettle, director of Santa Cruz city's public works department A: Thank you for the reminder. For information about the city's bike parking program, visit For bike lockers rental information, visit Information also is available by calling Cheryl Schmitt, transportation coordinator, at 420-5187. Q: The recent Street Smarts article about protecting yourself from having your bike stolen was good, but there were a couple important things that should have been added to the list of advice:
  1. Write down your bike's serial number somewhere. That way the cops will have an easier time getting your bike to you when it is found.
  2. Register your bike with your city. I'm pretty sure Santa Cruz and Capitola do this, and you can likely do it in the rest of the county too.
I just thought these were too important not to mention. Thanks, Steve A. Barshky, via email A: Thank you for the advice on ways to try to ensure bicycles are returned if they are stolen and recovered by police. Q: This has been bugging me for two months. Driving under the Bay Avenue/Highway 1 underpass towards Capitola, the signal light on Bay at the off-ramp intersection is burned out. It's on the right side of the intersection as you are traveling towards Capitola after the overpass. Could I be the only person in the county to notice? This is probably the most traveled intersection along the Capitola-Soquel border second to 41st Avenue and Highway 1. I'd gladly buy 'them' a light bulb if they promise to install it within the next two months. Niels Kisling, via email A: Thanks for the lightbulb offer but Caltrans has made the fix. Q: I frequently drive San Andreas Road and often come upon an agricultural vehicle traveling 5-10 mph in an area posted 45 mph. Assuming there is no oncoming traffic and it is safe, is it legal to cross the double yellow line to pass the vehicle? Tom Clarke, La Selva Beach A: According to Officer Sarah Jackson of the CHP, “the only exemptions in the California Vehicle Code for passing over double yellow lines are” when:
  1. One of the two yellow lines is broken. When safe to do so, vehicles traveling in the lane closest to the broken line may pass a slower moving vehicle;
  2. Making a left turn at an intersection;
  3. Turning left turn into or out of a private driveway or road; and
  4. Making a U-turn as allowed by the vehicle code.
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