Put the brakes on passing cyclists by crossing double yellow, reader says
Dear Street Smarts,
Every day, someone driving in the oncoming lane in Santa Cruz veers over the line into my lane to avoid a bicycle or car. The correct prescriptive in this situation is to put on one's brakes because it is illegal to cross the line into oncoming traffic. When people simply keep driving when there is an obstacle in their lane, and veer over the line, the following things may happen:
- The oncoming driver may also be trying to avoid being too close to a bicyclist, therefore driving as close to the center line as possible without going over it, and may have to veer over toward the bike lane or brake suddenly to avoid a head-on collision.
- The oncoming driver may be in the center of their lane and may have to veer to avoid the sudden, oncoming driver illegally crossing the line, thus getting too close to a bicyclist, if they don't have time to brake due to the sudden veering.
People are too aggressive to actually put their brakes on rather than go over the line just because they feel like they have the right of way because they are personally entitled. They should be braking and waiting their turn to proceed without breaking the law and endangering oncoming traffic.
Cynthia Berger, Santa Cruz County
I was at the Abbott Lighthouse parking lot recently and saw the parking ticket person giving tickets to two cars that had backed into their parking spaces. These two cars were right next to a sign that says, 'Do Not Back Park Into Parking Spaces.' I've seen people do this many times over the years and this was the first time I've seen anyone get a ticket for it. When I asked the ticket writer why this kind of parking was illegal, she didn't know. Can you find out why? I suspect the people returning to their cars would like to know why, too.
Patrick Wilkinson, Santa Cruz
Keeping the walkway clear of obstacles may be the reason behind the "No Backing In" signs, explained Marlin Granlund, manager of the city's parking office.
"When vehicles back into a stall, the rear of the vehicle protrudes into the walkway further than if the vehicle had parked nose in," he said. "With this being a lot that is used by the surfing community a lot, the number of vehicles that would back park, and had their surfboards and other equipment in and on the walkway area, created a problem for others trying to use the walkway."