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Neighbors hog all street parking, reader says
Dear Street Smarts, Q: There is plenty of open parking space on the street where we live. Unfortunately, both next door neighbors have a gazillion cars and squeeze us out of parking in front of our home. We have one car and have repeatedly spoken to them about kindly leaving a space. Yet, they won't respect our kind requests. Are there any rules for residents, as far as parking and leaving vehicles for many days in the same spot? I 'm also interested in how many cars per residence can park on the street, if such regulation exists. This is all just curiosity. Decency can't be forced. Julianne Ait, Santa Cruz A: Generally, vehicles can sit in one spot for up to three days on city streets unless they are blocking a driveway, etc, said Marlin Granlund, the city's parking program manager, and there are no limits to the number of vehicles a person may own. "If you live in an area with residential permit parking you are restricted to three residential permits and two guest permits but if there are ample spaces those two guest permits may be turned into residential permits," he explained. Q: Why don't bicyclists get tickets? We had a bicycle fly through the back of our windshield because they were going too fast and not paying attention on West Cliff Drive. Officers said we were not at fault. Bicycles are supposed to follow at a safe distance. We had to pay for the windshield, the cyclist never even offered to compensate us. Anyways, it seems like he should have been cited. I would assume a car driver would have gotten some kind of citation. Also, I regularly see bicyclists causing traffic confusion by not obeying stop signs, yield signs and pedestrian crossings. They seem to be racing everyone else, rather than being aware that there are other people around. I know bikes are 'politically correct,' but it would be nice if they were 'safely politically correct.' Julianne Ait, Santa Cruz A: Cyclists must obey to the same traffic laws as motor vehicles and they do get traffic tickets for violating them. From January 2013 through May 2014, the CHP wrote 62 citations to bicyclists in Santa Cruz County, mostly in the mid- and south county areas, said officer Brad Sadek, spokesman for the Santa Cruz area office. Meanwhile, the Community Traffic Safety Coalition reports that in 2010, officers countywide wrote 445 of tickets -- California Highway Patrol, 85; City of Capitola, 18; City of Santa Cruz, 275; City of Scotts Valley, 1; City of Watsonville, 49; and UC Santa Cruz, 17. The coalition offers a monthly Bicycle Traffic School for traffic offenders and curious cyclists alike. Learn more about he course, including class schedule, at http://www.sctrafficsafety.org/BikeTrafficSchool.htm.
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