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Conversation continues regarding cycling uphill on East Cliff Drive
Dear Street Smarts, Q: (In last Thursday's Street Smarts), I read about riding a bike up Murray Street from the bike trail. Actually, I think it's East Cliff Drive, which turns into Murray at the top of the hill. When riding up this hill, I have four options: (1) Take the road and ride close to the curb. This is the most dangerous option. If cars have a narrow gap to pass, they will; (2) Take the lane, which tends to infuriate drivers. Some will attempt to pass; (3) Continue riding up the sidewalk. This keeps me out of traffic. Occasionally, there are walkers or other cyclists who are almost always courteous; or (4) Walk my bike. I'm not sure the reasoning behind that especially if there is no one on the sidewalk. In practice, I always take the sidewalk. It's my observation, that's the common practice among cyclists going up hill. In 20 years of personal experiences, riding up the road has led to many close calls; riding up the sidewalk has been safe and without incident. Lee Overbeck, Ben Lomond A: This question has sparked quite a conversation among readers, public officials and cycling enthusiasts. Here's what I am hearing: In the city of Santa Cruz, cyclists are prohibited from riding on sidewalks in commercial zones. This area is not a commercial zone, thus cyclists can ride on the sidewalk, however in a safe manner around pedestrians. What's more, the city is installing a "Bikes May Use Full Lane" sign in the westbound, downhill direction of East Cliff Drive, not the eastbound side. Q: I wonder if you can find out about parking on Commercial Way, specifically in front of Pacific Family Mobile Home Park in Santa Cruz. I am a resident there and am allowed only one car for my unit. When I have a guest, they have to park on the street outside the park if there are no visitor spaces left in the park. We have three non-handicap parking spaces and approximately 34 units. If there are no spaces, you must go to the streets where parking is limited from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Also, we are next to Dientes Dental Group and many medical facilities, and street parking from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. is scarce at best during the week. How can we get some more parking out here? Regards, Mike Andalora via email A: “Years ago, residents and the Sheriff’s Office requested the parking restriction due to nighttime activities that required responses from the Sheriff’s Office,” explained Jack Sohriakoff, senior civil engineer for county public works. The overnight parking restrictions aimed to “cut down on those disturbances,” he said. During the past year, public works and planning officials have been working to resolve the parking issue but the sheriff's office does not support the removal of the overnight parking restriction, he continued. Until the sheriff's office does support the proposal, "the county will not remove the restriction,” said Sohriakoff.