Aldridge Lane to be repaired this fall, ‘Give Me 3’ bill becomes law

Dear Street Smarts, Q: In 20 years living on Aldridge Lane in Corralitos, I have watched the berm alongside the road be dragged down by the procession of apple growers who have taken turns farming the small piece of land owned by the Catholic church. Now, the edge of Aldridge is falling apart and failing. Who do I start with to get some assistance in stopping the damage? In the last month, one foot wide sections are breaking free opposite the Aldridge Lane Park. Is there a problem if I begin to make some repairs? It won't be long before two way traffic will be destructive to the remaining edge. Scott Gray, Corralitos A: County public works officials have inspected the site and agrees with your assessment that the road edge is in need of repair. Expect the road's edge to be repaired and the potholes to be patched this fall. Meanwhile, to request maintenance of potholes and report other road conditions, call the road dispatch office at 477-3999. 'Give Me 3' bill signed into law Next September, motorists will be required by law to give bicyclists three feet of space when passing them. If that is not possible, the motorist is to slow down to a safe speed before going around the bike rider. Gov. Jerry Brown signed the law, Assembly Bill 1371, last week. Drivers caught disobeying the law will be subject to a $35 fine that balloons to $154 after fees are tacked on, according to the California Bicycle Coalition. Drivers who strike cyclists and injure them while violating the law will face a $220 fine. Cycling advocates have been trying fr three years to get similar bicycle passing laws on the books, with Brown vetoing each one, until now. Local cycling advocates are thrilled they finally won his support. "This bill will have a huge impact in Santa Cruz County," said Amelia Conlen, director of People Power. "Our rural roadways and residential streets are often the scene of drivers passing cyclists dangerously close. Now we have a legal recourse, and the opportunity to educate drivers about safe passing distances." The law goes far "to educate drivers about their responsibility to safely pass cyclists," said Cory Caletti, senior transportation planner and bicycle committee coordinator for the Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission. "While more work needs to be done to strengthen this law, it will still become an effective educational tool in making roads safer for all users, she said."
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