Confusing signs in Soquel Village contribute to traffic snarls, says reader

Dear Street Smarts, Q: The sign on Soquel Drive at Main Street in the Soquel Village indicates two lanes that can travel straight through the intersection of Soquel and Porter when you can only go straight through the intersection from the right hand lane. Because of this, many people line up in the left hand lane and force a merge into the right lane causing major backups in the right lane. The backups interfere with the intersection just south at Main and cause issues in front of the fire station between Main and Porter. Any body looking into this? Chris Wolfe via email A: The sign you speak of addresses the way traffic is supposed to flow through the intersection of Soquel at Main, said Jack Sohriakoff, senior civil engineer for county public works. “The lane designation sign is for the westbound Soquel Drive approach to Main Street only which indicates left turns are allowed from the No. 1 through lane and right turns are allowed from the No. 2 through lane,” he said. “This sign is not intended to make any reference to the downstream left turn lane at Porter Street and only refers to the lane usage at the Main Street intersection.” There are other signs along Soquel Drive between Main and Porter streets that provide further guidance as to where motorists should be for the direction they intend to go. “New signage on the Soquel Drive approach was installed several months ago to help motorists become aware of the left turn only restriction in the number one lane at intersection with Porter Street and to inform them that through traffic must merge right,” Sohriakoff said. Q: I understand the explanation; however, the signage at Main contributes to the confusion at Soquel in its effort to clear up what is happening at Main. Thanks for your help, Chris Wolfe via email A: You're welcome Chris. This area is a difficult situation. This question has appeared numerous times over the years in Street Smarts. While public works continues to look at this area and try to find a fix that works, do realize that there are drivers who know the dynamic of Soquel Village and are simply trying to get in front of the pack. I received an email from another reader this week regarding a totally different subject but along the lines of people not obeying the laws pertaining to the road. In essence he said, sometimes people simply do not follow the rules. But that doesn't mean we stop trying to find ways to get people to fall in line and make it clear what is expected of them.
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