Placement of ‘No-U-Turn’ sign questioned at River St., Hwy 1

Dear Street Smarts Q: Ramona, Question for you: Have you heard complaints about the placement of the U-turn sign at River Street and Highway 1, the one you will see coming from Costco and turning onto Highway 1 South? The placement is on the far right side of the horizontal traffic pole standard across the intersection, in the direction of the Hot Springs Spa building. If one is turning left onto Highway 1, there is no sign on the median or directly across from the turn lanes. If one is in the far left turn lane, and a larger van or truck is in the right turn lane, one cannot see the No U-Turn sign. I got a ticket there recently for an illegal U-turn from the inside left turn lane. I had never tried to make a U-turn there before. I purposely looked carefully for a sign but a truck was in that right hand turn lane and made it impossible for me to see the sign on the far right side of the intersection. Best, Jim Walt via email A: There are two "No U-Turn" signs at that intersection. One is in the far right corner of the intersection, as you stated. The other is at the far left corner of the intersection. "If a vehicle is in the left left-turn lane and a large vehicle is in the right left-turn lane -- there are two left-turn lanes in this direction -- the scenario that Mr. Walt described, the (No U-Turn) sign on the far left corner of the I/S should still be visible to the vehicle in the left left-turn lane," said Colin Jones, Caltrans spokesperson. No complaints about sign placement have come to Caltrans, the Santa Cruz Police Department or Street Smarts. The reader informed me that he planned to fight the ticket in traffic court before hearing the responses from our local traffic gurus. Street Smarts encouraged him to go forward with presenting his case to the court and let me, thus his fellow Street Smarts readers, know the result. Stay tuned. Idling on the mind Since the March 20 Street Smarts column on idling vehicles, readers have been writing in with their thoughts and ideas on the topic. Here are a couple: "I'm really glad to see the information you highlighted about pollution and greenhouse gases caused by idling vehicles," wrote Pete Haworth. "The largest concentration of idling vehicles in the county is on Highway 1. Apply the statistics you mentioned to the thousands of cars stuck in jams there every day and you'll see why widening Highway 1 would do more to reduce pollution and greenhouse gas production in the county than any other transport project." "Speaking of when to idle your car, or not, I can't help but notice the lines of idling cars at most fast food drive-in windows every day," penned Eve Roberson. "I wonder why no one has invented a conveyor belt that could automatically move waiting cars forward. Then customers could just turn off their cars and enjoy the ride!"
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