Roundabouts work, says Santa Cruz PWD

Dear Street Smarts, Q: Drivers in Santa Cruz and those coming from outside to visit often don’t know how to enter the roundabout at the end of Pacific Avenue heading to the Main Beach. There were two incidents where I was already in the roundabout when an entering car did not yield when they approached the circle. In one case, the driver slammed on his breaks then tailgated me over the train trestle heading for West Cliff Drive. He passed me blowing his horn and flipping me off. When I approached to make my right turn at Bay Street., he and his passenger started an all out cursing attack. I don’t get intimidated easily but his rant was violent and scary. I think another sign needs to be added below the yield sign that says something like, yield the right of way to vehicles already in the roundabout. Can this be done or is there a better solution to this problem? Lin Marelick, via email A: Generally speaking, the roundabouts work well according to observations from various staffers through the ranks of Santa Cruz's public works department. Intersections that continue to have some issues are those with four way stop and involve people not knowing who should yield the right of way, an official there said. Motorists can brush up on rules of the road pertaining to both, as well as other traffic laws at CHP hosts Start Smart, Age Well driver courses Teens who have just started to drive and folks who have been driving for decades are invited to learn about driving as it pertains to their respective age groups from the CHP. Start Smart teaches teen drivers the importance of being responsible behind the wheel while discussing topics such as the dynamics of a collision, avoidance, peer pressure, defensive driving and DUI. Traffic collisions are the leading cause of death among 15-20 year olds. The course is 6:30-8:30 p.m. Thursday Aug. 7 at the Aptos branch of the Santa Cruz Public Library, at 7695 Soquel Drive, Aptos. Meanwhile, Age Well teaches drivers ages 65 and up about current traffic laws, as well as informs them of the ways aging, their health and medications impact their driving. Making the decision to give up the car keys and finding alternatives to driving also will be discussed. This course is 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 8 at the Aptos branch of the Santa Cruz Public Library. For information and to save seats, call 831-662-0511.
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