No left turn from Soquel onto Park Way during construction, city says

Dear Street Smarts, Q: I was wondering if you could do me a favor and print something? At the Soquel/Park Way intersection -- Whalers and Ford dealership -- where we are building the left turn lanes and have to reduce the lanes to one lane in each direction, we have put up no left-turn signs. Well, they are being ignored and backing traffic up, mostly in the eastbound direction. Could you please ask motorists to not make a left-turn at this location when they see its narrowed to one lane? It's creating a lot of congestion and reduces safety. Depending on their destination, there are alternative routes to use, such as the going to the Capitola Road/Palo Alto Medical Foundation intersection or to La Fonda and make a U-turn at the signal. We will be requesting Police enforcement. Chris Schneiter, assistant public works director, city of Santa Cruz A: You got it. Soquel users, take heed. Q: Will you please let whoever needs to know that the lighted emergency alert sign over southbound Highway 1 near the Soquel Avenue exit needs servicing. This is the sign that alerts drivers of Amber Alerts, etc. Right now, it instructs drivers to report drunk drivers by calling 911. Except some of the LEDs or light bulbs are out and it sort of looks like 711 instead. I know that most people already know to call 911, but then why the notice? Let's get the sign fixed before an alert goes up for which we really need the entire notice, such as a license plate number for an Amber Alert. Thank you, Shirley Sapena via email A: Street Smarts has alerted Caltrans to the problem. Thank you for the heads up. Q: Can something be done to improve northbound traffic on Bay at Mission streets? Since the left lane is for left turns only, approximately 75 percent of the traffic uses the right lane. Frequently, right lane traffic cannot get through the intersection before the light turns red. I suggest making the: 1) Right lane for right turns only. Since the majority of the traffic in the right lane is turning right, this would enable them to make the turn on a red light when possible. 2) Light longer for northbound Bay St. Thanks, Jeff Belden, via email A: You're not the only one asking that question. Q: A couple of weeks ago you published a letter from a reader complaining about the lane striping at Bay and Mission for motorists coming southeast down Bay towards the ocean. And you responded with reasons why it is the way it is. I want to complain about the striping at this intersection for motorists driving northeast, coming from the ocean towards the university. It's a dedicated signal always, the green is not shared with other car traffic. There are two lanes -- one is left turn only, the other is for right turn and straight ahead. By far the greatest volume of traffic -- maybe 80 percent -- wants to turn right or go straight ahead. This right lane often gets backed up, particularly in morning rush hour or when beach traffic and West Cliff traffic are heavy, whereas the left turn lane is never busy or backed up. In addition, the right lane must share the intersection with pedestrians crossing Mission, which sometimes makes it so that one car turning right can prevent other cars wanting to go straight across on Bay wait. It seems to me that the solution is simple: make the left lane for left turn and straight through traffic, and the right lane for right turns only. It's a cheap answer -- paint only. Why would this not be better? Thanks, George Wilson via email A: Street Smarts has forwarded your questions to the city's public works department, where officials are investigating before issuing a response. Stay tuned.  
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