Turnouts are not long term parking lots, says CHP

Dear Street Smarts, Q: We live in the unincorporated area of Santa Cruz County on a road where our neighbors are few and far between. Across from our house is a turnout which is the access for the utility/telephone pole and water main residing there. Neighbors have decided that this turnout is a nice, permanent 'overflow' parking area for their numerous cars, truck, etc. ot only are these vehicles a visual blight but now, when commercial or utility trucks have to access their poles, they park in our driveway since there’s no room in the turnout. Are there laws in place that prohibit using public county roads as personal parking lots? Thank you, Jan King via email A: "Technically, unless otherwise posted, a vehicle can be parked on the side of the road, completely out of the roadway and positioned in a manner that it is not a hazard to traffic, for up to 72 hours," said officer Brad Sadek, CHP spokesperson. "There are quite a few turnouts throughout the county that become short term parking spots which is fine as long as signs are obeyed and vehicles are moved within that 72 hour time frame. If someone notices a car parked for over 72 hours or notices a suspicious vehicle, they can contact the CHP or County Vehicle Abatement to check on the status of the vehicle." The CHP's number is 662-0511. Report abandoned vehicles at online at 454-3139 or http://sccounty01.co.santa-cruz.ca.us/shf/AbandonedVehicle/Shf%20Abandoned%20vehicle%20form.aspx. Q: I'm curious as to why there aren't any stop signs when you come out of the Safeway shopping center in Felton, either on Graham Hill Road or Mount Hermon Road. I constantly see cars coming out and entering those streets without even slowing down much and have personally observed several near misses. I know that drivers are expected to know that you can't enter a major roadway without stopping but many seem to be unaware of that law or don't care. It looks like the least they could do is to paint "STOP" and put a stripe across the private road before someone has a serious accident. Elwin Haddix, Ben Lomond A: "Shopping centers are not required to place signs at the exits," said Sadek. "However, California Vehicle Code section 21804(a) requires any driver entering or crossing a highway to yield to approaching traffic until it is reasonably safe to continue." Highway 1 auxiliary lanes update Night work requiring lane closures will continue next week. During the week of Sept. 30, crews will work on:
  • Drainage near the northbound side's retaining wall, as well as excavate and install piping;
  • Planting the landscaping on the northbound side;
  • Final striping of the southbound lanes; and
  • Installing signs on the bridge.
Meanwhile, during the week of Oct. 7, crews will continue:
  • Striping the two northbound lanes; and
  • The drainage work at the retaining wall on northbound side.
The new southbound auxiliary lane is set to open next month. Until then, motorists are reminded to slow down move over. Remember, fines double for traffic violations in construction zones. Follow the project online at http://sccrtc.org/projects/streets-highways/highway-1-aux-lanes/.  
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